There was plenty I didn’t say about Paul Williams’ loss to Carlos Quintana and myriad other goings-on from the weekend and its aftermath, so I’ll now execute what is commonly called a “notebook dump” before turning most of my attention this week to one of the year’s most important fights ahead just this Saturday, Kelly Pavlik-Jermain Taylor II. (Strictly speaking, I don’t have a notebook, so I suppose that makes this a “brain dump,” which, upon Googling the term, I learned has its own Wikipedia entry. Therefore, it’s a term that’s got some juice.)
There’s a part of me that’s worried I sounded too harsh about Williams’ loss. I clarified matters, hopefully, in the comments section of the post-fight post in response to comments from David, but sometimes, it’s a matter of emphasis. There are some other things I’d like to emphasize as well.
First, I don’t think this fight proved that Williams was a bad fighter or anything like it. He’d still be a formidable opponent for any welterweight (147 lbs.). Yes, Quintana, by virtue of a stellar fight plan and inspired performance, exposed some of Williams’ flaws, flaws that were exacerbated by or perhaps even created by what I reasonably speculate to be Williams’ long layoff and weight-drained slowness. Those two things — layoff and weight — are no doubt related. Williams looked far sharper against Margarito, when he didn’t have such a long layoff and had probably been more productively making weight/fighting/making weight/fighting. Without that pattern in place, the effect on his body seemed palpable. Now, Margarito wasn’t skating around the ring like Quintana, but Margarito’s nothing if not an offensive machine, and Williams dodged more punches against Margarito than he did against Quintana.
But that segues into a couple other points.
Such as: I said Williams looked “slow,” mentioned his blown up fight weight and the long layoff, but I don’t think I connected these things as explicitly as I should have. Williams needs to get busy at welterweight and fight a lot, or move up in weight. With the way he punches, I don’t think he’d be as effective at a higher weight. From the standpoint of his body, he’s far from a natural welter, because nobody who weights nearly 20 pounds heavier on fight night than he did on the day of the weigh-in is doing anything smart to his body. But I think what makes him unique at welterweight — primarily, his length — is what makes him a dangerous boxer. Thus, my vote’s for “get busy.” Williams, sportsman that he is, made no excuse for his loss, and ultimately he should rightfully accept the blame for the loss… but I think it’s pretty obvious weight was a big factor. Is he starting to get to an age where weight becomes a steady issue for him? That’s a big unknown.
And: I failed to properly emphasize the intelligence of Quintana’s fight plan, despite giving him credit for “being smart in there.” The guy clearly has a great sense of timing — he timed Joel Julio’s punches and countered, then did the same thing against Williams. But the lateral movement really made it hard for Williams to execute his own fight plan. He couldn’t even get a punch off without Quintana zipping away, let alone unload his usual hailstorm. It was pretty freaking brilliant, frankly.
Ranking The Welterweights
For the record, here’s how I rank the welterweights after this weekend (I know I’ve rejected the idea of Ring Report doing regular rankings before — this is an exception).
1. Floyd Mayweather’s the division champ, not much explanation needed. But if he wastes his whole year on one fight — a rematch with Oscar De La Hoya in September — and another welter has an exceptional year, I might strip him of the label in my universe. Hey, I don’t have some official policy on this, so I can do it if I want.
2. #1 contender is Miguel Cotto. He’s beat Shane Mosley, Zab Judah and Carlos Quintana. ‘Nuff said.
3. Mosley. He only barely lost to Cotto — I scored it a draw — and has defeated Luis Collazo, then, back in the day, a younger, fresher De La Hoya plus some other OK welters.
4. Quintana. Defeats of Julio and now Williams say a lot, and getting crushed by Cotto is just what most people do.
5. Williams. Really, just has Margarito and Walter Matthysse on his record, plus a close loss to Quintana, plus a couple other decent wins, but I still think he’s got the skill if he stays in the division.
6. Margarito. He lost to Williams, so it’s hard to rank him higher until he does something exceptional. He destroyed a young Kermit Cintron, got lucky beating an injured Joshua Clottey and beat a bunch of other welters, but when the ranks were thinner.
7. Cintron. I think there’s a drop-off after Kermit, but murdering Matthysse, David Estrada and Mark Suarez, plus having a rough go with Jesse Feliciano and losing to Margarito, is enough to put him in the upper tier despite coming in at seventh.
8. Clottey. He was beating Margarito until his injury, was beating Carlos Baldomir until he was unfairly disqualified (or so I’ve read) and pretty easily won his recent title eliminator.
9. Collazo. He beat Ricky Hatton, although the judges didn’t see it that way, plus got a belt off the tough Jose Antonio Rivera, but he wasn’t really in the fight against Mosley at all, injury or no.
10. Judah. He’s in the top 10 for being competitive against Cotto and Mayweather in stretches, for KOing Cory Spinks lo those many years ago and stretching out his multi-belt holding reign over a bevy of OK contenders for a little while there. But losing to Baldomir, Mayweather and Cotto, then looking unimpressive in two wins over non-world beating opponents has to count against him somewhere.
Wacky News Of The Puerto Rican Welterweight Weird
The news out of Puerto Rico, coming off the weekend’s welterweight double-header, is… head-scratching. PR, in case you missed it, now has three welterweight belt-holders — Cotto, Cintron and, of course, Quintana. So a paper there reports that Cotto is gonna fight Ricardo Mayorga, all a sudden, this summer, skipping Alfonso Gomez, and that Antonio Margarito, who was to be Cotto’s summer opponent if he beat Cintron, is suddenly gonna fight Quintana instead of Cintron. Maybe. I’m going to put too much credence into these reports for two reasons: One, these all could be “trial balloons” to help move negotiations along, or back-up plans in case any tentative agreements out there fall through; and two, I don’t want to believe any of it. Cotto-Mayorga is laughable, Margarito-Quintana isn’t laughable at all doesn’t interest me as much as Margarito-Cintron II (as a sequel to their 2005 battle, Margarito-Cintron offers some more intriguing storylines) and the thought of Cotto not squaring off against a significant welterweight in the first half of the year depresses me. Subsequently, Cotto and Margarito promoter Bob Arum said that Mayorga isn’t on Cotto’s platter until later, so I guess we’ll see how this shakes out.
A First Dud
I didn’t need to be any more excited about Pavlik-Taylor II than I am, since I’ll be out of town and unable to watch it live, so in that sense I’m glad HBO finally turned in something of a dud of a “Countdown” preview show that debuted after Williams-Quintana wrapped up. It was good, it just wasn’t up to their usual high standards. I liked the details about Pavlik describing to HBO’s team before the fight exactly what would happen, which did. I like the tales of Pavlik becoming a hometown hero, but I feel like other places have told the story better, such as this Sports Illustrated piece. I liked the tales of Taylor becoming a sympathetic figure again in his own hometown. But there wasn’t much else entertaining. The commercial that aired on Comedy Central the other night was far more enticing — just semi-slow motion images from their first fight of both guys throwing bombs, to the tune of (I believe) the 1812 Overture. That said just as much, if not more.
Kendall Holt Is Trying To Ruin His Career, And Other Weekend Fights
Yes, junior welterweight (140 lbs.) contender Kendall Holt was as bad as all that in his Vs. “fight” against Ben Tackie Thursday, which he won, but, in the end, comes out looking worse for it. Summarized: Avoid, avoid, avoid, land a couple shots at will, go back to avoiding. It wasn’t technically a part of the weekend, but it wasn’t far from it, and I watched it with my own eyes. I didn’t catch “Latin Fury,” but visit with Dan Rafael’s scorecard here if you’re interested in the other results, such as what happened to black people-disliking steroid-abusing AIDS-denying Tommy Morrison. It features this painful-sounding detail about what Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.’s brother Omar did to some dude named Miguel Camacho with one body shot: Camacho, according to promoter Bob Arum, “needed to go the the hospital after the fight and was urinating blood after the body shot.” That’s some body punch, or some squishy insides.