Big Paul William’s victory over Mexico’s Antonio Margarito was just one of several boxing clashes that paved the way for the rest of the boxing world over the weekend.
Along with Williams capturing the WBO welterweight title, Kermit Cintron destroyed his opponent to keep the IBF welterweight title and Alfonso Gomez crashed the party with his win over future Hall of Fame fighter Arturo Gatti.
Oh yeah, and Roy Jones Jr. won too.
Margarito, whose tenacious non-stop punching style and machismo had fueled him to the welterweight title in 2002 and seven successful title defenses, finally found an opponent who refused to slug it out.
“I knew I had to make changes,” said Williams who refrained from an inside fight and boxed and moved. “The fight went as I expected.”
The loss by Margarito probably meant at least $8 million that won’t go to his pocketbook because he was in line to fight WBA welterweight titleholder Miguel Cotto in a unification bout. He opted to fight Williams against the wishes of his management and promoters Top Rank. He could have vacated the WBO title and fought Cotto in New York last month as planned. But he stubbornly scuttled that plan.
Instead of fighting Cotto he took the challenge from number one ranked Williams for a reported $1 million. He could have made three times that much against Cotto and if victorious, he would be in line for other unification matches. Not any more.
Meanwhile, in Atlantic City, IBF titleholder Cintron demolished Argentina’s Walter Matthysse in two rounds and could possibly face Williams.
After winning the title in a grueling match Williams said he’d like a match against Cotto or WBC titleholder Floyd Mayweather Jr.
First, Cotto’s promoters said Williams is not an option, but Sugar Shane Mosley will now be the probable opponent for WBA titleholder Cotto in the fall.
“We’ve been in talks with Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy about the possibility of Cotto fighting Shane Mosley,” said Bob Arum, president of Top Rank who promotes Cotto.
Mayweather, another fighter Williams would love to face, only wants big pay days and was seeking a match against England’s Ricky Hatton. Facing someone who is six inches taller, a southpaw, and a wingspan of a California Condor like Williams makes no sense for Pretty Boy Floyd.
Williams is just too dangerous a fighter who is little known in the boxing world for any lucrative match ups. But he does have options like meeting IBF champion Cintron or facing Margarito again in Los Angeles or Las Vegas.
“This felt incredibly good winning right here in LA,” said Williams, who trained in Puerto Rico. “It was not an easy fight.”
Win or lose the fight was exciting.
Speaking of exciting, former Contender contestant Gomez walked into an enemy arena and exacted punishment to New Jersey’s beloved Arturo “Thunder” Gatti.
The win by Gatti made a statement on behalf of other Contender fighters that they are not merely the creation of television hype and can indeed fight with the best.
Sure Gatti is not the boxer who beat Mickey Ward in two of three gargantuan battles, but his team picked Gomez because they felt he was a weak link toward a mega fight against Mexico’s favorite son Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Had Gatti won he would be facing Chavez Jr. Now it remains to be seen if Top Rank – Chavez’s promoters - will accept the heavy-handed Gomez as the next opponent for the son of the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez.
“They’re (Top Rank) not going to risk the golden goose,” said Beto Duran a sports reporter for ESPN radio of a possible meeting of Gomez and Chavez. “I don’t expect Chavez to fight Gomez. He’s too good.”
The great Gatti announced his retirement after the loss. He is a class.
Roy Jones wins, is Tito next?
Florida’s Roy Jones’ Jr. captured a unanimous decision over Anthony Hanshaw in a light heavyweight fight that took place in Biloxi. Miss. on Saturday.
Jones needed a victory over a talented fighter and found one in Hanshaw, a super middleweight enticed to move up in weight for a chance to gain notoriety. It was Hanshaw’s first loss as a professional.
“Hanshaw gave me his best I knew he was going to be a big problem for me and he was a tough test,” stated Jones after the fight. “He is going to be a great fighter in the future.”
Jones says he seeks redemption and wants rematches against those fighters that beat him and fight against Felix “Tito” Trinidad who has openly spoken about returning to boxing.
Riverside’s Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola continues to impress as a heavyweight hopeful and has accrued a large growing fan base.
One of the biggest crowd roars on Saturday night at the Home Depot Center came when Arreola was announced to the crowd.
It took Arreola a mere 57 seconds to blow through Rialto’s Derek Berry with a five-punch combination.
“If Chris Arreola ever fights for the title this place (Southern California) would go crazy for him,” said Roberto Raijar, a television sports reporter.
Ontario resident wins WBO featherweight title
Southern California’s Steve Luevano (33-1, 15 KOs) captured the WBO featherweight title with an 11th round knockout of Nicky Cook (25-1, 15 KOs) in London, England on Saturday.
Luevano, whose family lives in Ontario, California, knocked down Cook five times in 11 rounds. The lanky southpaw fighter attacked the body viciously to wear down Cook quickly and with finality.
Fights on television
Wed. ESPN2, 8 p.m., Mike Oliver (18-0) vs. Cruz Carbajal (28-13-2).
Fri. ESPN2, 6 p.m., Fres Oquendo (27-4) vs. Eliecer Castillo (29-5-2).
Fri. Telefutura, 8 p.m., Alex DeJesus (13-0) vs. Arturo Morua (24-9-1).
Sat. HBO pay-per-view, 6 p.m., Bernard Hopkins (47-4-1) vs. Winky Wright (51-3-1); Oscar Larios (59-5-1) vs. Jorge Linares (23-0); Michael Katsidis (22-0) vs. Czar Amonsot (18-2-1).