NEW YORK -- At 6-foot-2 and with the ability to slim down to 147 pounds,
Face it: Williams is pretty good.
He knows it, too. Last December, Williams eked out a majority decision over
"This is the biggest fight out there except for [
Confidence is good. Run down the list of all the greats -- Ali, Frazier,
It's not that Williams hasn't tried to make big fights. After beating
Williams doesn't bring close to that. His past three fights have been in California, Atlantic City, N.J., and Las Vegas. None of them have come close to selling out. Sure, HBO signed on to broadcast each fight. But if any of them had been put on pay-per-view, organizers would have been lucky to recoup the money it cost to turn on the lights.
What Williams needs more than anything are wins. Lots of them. Martinez, who is ranked No. 5 in SI.com's pound-for-pound rankings, is a good start. With his stunning win over
"He's got something I want," Williams said. "He's got those belts. I want those belts. It's my job to go out there and get them."
Beating Martinez won't make Williams more appealing by itself but it would be a step in the right direction. There are other opponents who could push him even further in that direction. Pavlik, whom Williams was scheduled to fight last year before Pavlik pulled out with an injury, is still out there, as is German WBA middleweight champion
There are options at other weight classes, too. Junior middleweight champion
Undoubtedly, Williams has the potential to be great. And at 29, he still has time to do it. But greatness is achieved in the ring, not on a dais, a lesson Williams seems unwilling or unable to learn.