Thursday, February 19, 2009

Paul WIlliams vs Winky Wright: Offense vs. Defense


Can Winky stop the meteoric rise of Williams?


Crossroads fights are good for boxing but bad for boxers. Well, at least one of them.

On April, 11, in Las Vegas, Paul Williams will attempt to continue his upward mobility against a fighter who has derailed more fighters than fast food and fast women: Ronald "Winky" Wright.

For Wright, this will be the first time he's been back in action since a close decision loss to Bernard Hopkins. Williams, who is coming off a TKO win against the durable Verno Phillips, will look to continue his impressive climb up the boxing ranks, whichever division will rank him highest.

While this recession is bad for the nation, boxing fans can take some solace in the fact that this fight will be on HBO Boxing rather than the dreaded and exclusive PPV.

This will be another chance for Williams to expand his exposure. He has fought on HBO, Showtime and more recently, Versus. While some people may mock the quality of the basic cable channel, it's best to be everywhere and anywhere you can build a following rather than price yourself out and making yourself inactive. Archie Moore mastered self promotion before the digital era by fighting all over the country and building a following.

Wright, while not quite an old mongoose himself, is a veteran of the sport and one of the better defensive boxers of his era. His "vacation" may have been beneficial. His eye was cut in the close loss to Hopkins and he has had time to physically recover at an age (37), which, in boxing, make you more vulnerable to injuries. Williams should pounce on the inactive Wright, but needs to pace himself against the craftiest fighter he has faced so far.

The bet is that Williams will come out jabbing and throwing punches to the body. Wright is not too much of a lateral mover though he uses angles, his arms and his jab to keep opponent's offense at bay. Williams will look to use his long arms, superb conditioning, and supreme confidence in trying to break down the defensive shell that has kept Winky at the top of the boxing world against elite competition.

And wile Winky has the experience and chin to confront the Williams Express, he does not have the power to fend off the taller and younger challenger. Williams, unlike Felix Trinidad, is a volume puncher who is just as happy to hit the arms, as he is to connect to the head and body. He does not rely on one single punch to get the job done. Wright will have a hard time with his timing and the sheer number of punches coming to him all night from all angles.

Of course, always remember to bet with "funny money only."

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