Antonio Margarito has been waiting all his life for a chance like this. He knows that a win over the well regarded and undefeated Paul Williams will lead to the mega fight every fighter shoots for.
“Once I beat Williams I have Miguel Cotto next so this fight is incredibly important,” said Margarito to TSS after a light workout days before his HBO televised match.
If he beats Williams, a huge Pay Per View event and big money await him against Puerto Rico’s newest boxing star, Miguel Cotto. Cotto vs. Margarito is a lucrative proposition for all parties involved, far more lucrative than a Cotto vs.Williams bout. You know, it’s that whole Mexico vs. Puerto Rico rivalry.
“I have to win to get to Cotto. This is where all the hard work has led me. A win will change my life and that of the people around me,” said Margarito.
Margarito (34-4, 24 KOs) will be defending his WBO welterweight title against Williams (32-0, 24 KOs) at The Home Depot Center in Carson, California on Saturday in a match laden with extremely high expectations. Most fans and media observers are expecting “fight of the year” quality.
“They’re expecting a war and that’s what they’re going to get. Williams isn’t getting out of this easy,” said Margarito. “He asked for what’s he’s about to get. He needs to remember after he loses that he and his promoter pushed for this fight.”
The thing about most Mexican fighters is that they can’t stand big talkers. It irks them to no end. “Big Mouths” are the antithesis to the humble natured and respectful warriors they’re expected to be.
If Williams wanted to get under Margarito’s skin, it worked. There’s no need to motivate the “Tijuana Tornado”. There’s definitely an underlying dislike for the South Carolina native.
“The fact that I’m fighting Williams, someone who’s talked and lied so much only makes me want to win that much more,” said Margarito.
Margarito is referring to the claims made by the Williams camp that he cut and gave Margarito more than he could handle during a sparring session.
“Victory is going to taste a lot sweeter because of all he’s said about me,” continued Margarito.
Williams is 6’ 2” and has a freakish eighty two inch reach for a 147 pounder. It’s a nine inch advantage over Margarito, who works with a seventy three inch wingspan and is 5’ 10”. Margarito points out that he prepared with top guys like Rodney Jones and others that simulated Williams’ style.
“We sparred with about five different guys who are very tall and I’m well prepared for Williams. I know I’m going to have to close the distance on him,” said Margarito. “The key will be to make this my fight and to dictate the tempo.”
The fact that he’s fighting in Southern California, which is essentially Margaritoville, gives him a feeling of a home field advantage.
“It’s great to fight in front of my people. I have a lot of fans in Los Angeles, San Diego. Some are coming from as far away as Tijuana,” says Margarito. “I know that some are concerned that I’ll get some sort of special treatment if the fight goes to a decision but I’m a hundred percent sure the judges won’t be needed in this one. I’m coming to knock out Paul Williams and he’s going to try to do the same thing. It’s going to be an early night.”
This is a can’t miss fight. Margarito vs. Williams have proven their ability to crush opponents in spectacular fashion. There will be no dancing and probably no clinching. Just a desire to win at all costs. Two men willing to lay it on the line for the opportunity to run with the big dogs. Whoever wins gets a crack at Cotto.
“The prize is a fight against Cotto. Williams is in the way and I’m going to remove him,” finished Margarito.
Check out Antonio Margarito vs. Paul Williams along with Walther Mathysse vs. Kermit Cintron and Alfonso Gomez vs. Arturo Gatti on HBO’s World Championship Boxing at 9:00 P.M. Eastern Time and 6:00 P.M. Pacific Time.