Williams 'punishes' in new division, still hopes for lucrative payday
I'm beginning to understand
The welterweights? World champions
In a brief-but-spectacular display of boxing acumen and raw power, the rangy Williams (35-1) claimed his first victory as a middleweight, a division the reigning WBO welterweight champion never really wanted to move up to but was left without much other choice after failing to land a high-profile fight with Margarito,
While it's a popular refrain for a fighter to claim he is being avoided, in Williams case the chorus rings true. In 2007, he dispelled the myth that Margarito was an unstoppable force when Williams, throwing a staggering number of punches, defeated Margarito to claim the WBO belt. A disappointing loss to the unheralded Quintana seven months later slowed Williams' momentum, but only until he avenged the loss to Quintana in June with an emphatic first-round knockout.
Now, Williams faces a difficult decision: press on at middleweight or return to welterweight with the hope that his division-hopping has made him marketable enough to secure a lucrative fight with Margarito, Mosley or
According to Williams, the decision is an easy one.
"I'm going back to 147," said Williams, who plans to fight again Nov. 29 against a still-to-be-determined opponent. "I'm very comfortable there."
Who can blame him? Besides Pavlik, who is scheduled to face
The welterweight division, however, remains stacked, which is why Team Williams is going to do everything it can to force a fight. "The pressure [on the top welterweights] is going to be applied," said Williams' trainer,
With Cotto-Margarito II rumored to be in the works for early next year, the most logical opponent for Williams would be Mosley, should the former three-division champion defeat
Whatever division he chooses to fight in, Williams' future is a bright one. At 27, Williams can wait out Margarito and Cotto and still make a potential mega fight with Pavlik down the road. Sooner or later, no one will be able to afford to duck him.
Arreola weighed in at 258 pounds, the heaviest of his career and about 20 pounds more than his corner would have preferred. While the heavyweight division is starving for new prospects, Arreola will have to improve his conditioning significantly to battle with the cream of the heavyweight crop.