Los Angeles, CA (July 15th) - Paul “The Punisher” Williams lived up to his nickname Saturday night in his twelve round championship bout against former champion Antonio Margarito at the Home Depot Center. Williams came out strong early, combining jabs, crosses, hooks, and fancy footwork to outwork the “Tijuana Tornado” for the first six rounds. With the majority of the 8,000 fans who packed the Home Depot Center behind him, Margarito (34-5, 24 KO’s) adjusted to Williams and mounted a strong comeback. But it wasn’t enough, as Williams won the crucial twelfth round on two of the judge’s scorecards (both scored it 115-113) to come away with the unanimous decision. Touchgloves.com had it 116-114 for Williams.
Williams, from Augusta, Georgia, used his height, reach and southpaw style as an advantage against the shorter Margarito. After the first four rounds, it looked like Williams was on his way to his 25th knockout. He continued to pressure Margarito in the fifth and sixth rounds, outworking the champ with three and four punch combinations.
Margarito would make it through the sixth and came out strong in the seventh round. With Williams tiring from the high output of punches he had thrown in the first half of the fight, Margarito started to land his punches with accuracy.
The two would go at it in the eight and ninth rounds. After losing the eighth, Williams came back in the ninth landed some efficient punches. His punches didn’t have the snap they had early, but his continuous high output impressed the judges.
By the start of the eleventh round momentum was on Maragrito’s side. Williams punch output seemed to drop and was primarily on the defensive. Margarito would come out strong landing big punch after big punch. A right hook would open a cut above over Williams left eye. Williams would show a lot of resilience, as well as a iron clad chin by surviving the round.
The twelfth and final round would ultimately be the determining round of the fight. Williams came out calm and relaxed as if it was the first round. He used his jab to keep Margarito at bay and dominated with combinations and a slick defense. Margarito seemed to have been gassed out from the eleventh round, unable to land any clean punches against the southpaw.
Had Margarito won the final round, two scorecards would have read 114-114, and the fight would have ended in a draw.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told reporters after the fight that Margarito’s match up with Miguel Cotto was still a possibility. The two have a chance to meet, if a Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto cannot be worked out.
As for Williams, a unification fight with IBF champion Kermit Cintron is a possibility. As reported earlier, Cintron knocked out Walter Dario Matthysse last night in Atlantic City, NJ.
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