TEMECULA-WBO welterweight titleholder Paul Williams realizes that he’s a feared fighter because of his obvious superiority in height, reach and southpaw boxing skills.

So why does Carlos Quintana want to fight him?

Williams (33-0, 24 KOs) defends his WBO title against Puerto Rico’s southpaw slickster Quintana on Saturday at the Pechanga Resort and Casino. The fight between southpaws will be televised by HBO and shown on delay.

Towering near six feet, three inches, Williams spawns fear among other 147-pound boxers because of the obvious physical advantages his wields including his spider-like limbs.

Quintana, five inches shorter, believes it’s a perfect set up for his own brand of southpaw fighting.

“Sometimes left-handers can’t fight other left-handers,” said Quintana (24-1, 19 KOs), whose only loss was to current WBA welterweight titleholder Miguel Cotto. “Paul Williams beat other left-handers but they were lightweights moving up in weight like Sharmba Mitchell.”

For years Quintana toiled in obscurity until he accepted a match against another undefeated contender with a fearsome knockout record named Joel Julio. Underneath a vicious sun with temperatures near 123 degrees, the Puerto Rican boxer dominated.

“When I prepare well and prepare my mind to fight a certain style I can’t be beaten,” Quintana says. “That’s what Paul Williams is going to discover.”

Williams took the title from Mexico’s Antonio Margarito by decision last July and will be making his first title defense. He wonders aloud why anybody would fight him?

“The fact Carlos Quintana took this fight means he’s a serious threat,” Williams, 26, says. “I have to take him very seriously.”

Quintana waves that off.

“He’s not taking me seriously,” said Quintana, 31. “I can see it in his eyes. He’s not sincere when he says it.”

Looking across the room, Quintana eyes Williams and seems to be visually measuring him. In person the South Carolina native looks taller than the six-foot, one-inch dimensions described in the unofficial boxing records.

Dan Goossen, president of Goossen-Tutor Promotions that sponsor Williams, said his height is purposely incorrect.

“It’s already difficult to get him fights. Imagine if boxers heard he’s really six foot three?” Goossen said.

Other bouts

Heavyweight contender Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola is scheduled for 10 rounds against Las Vegas fighter Cliff Couser (26-14-2, 14 KOs).

Arreola (22-0, 20 KOs), a resident of Riverside, hasn’t fought since stopping fellow heavyweight prospect Thomas Hayes in Ontario last September. He’s considered one of the fast-rising heavyweight threats.

“He needs the work,” said Henry Ramirez, who trains Arreola. “The competition level is going to increase this year for Chris.”

Also on the fight card will be Andre Berto (20-0, 17 KOs), a hard-hitting welterweight contender in a 10-round battle against Germany’s Michel Trabant (43-2-1, 19 KOs).

Berto, 24, is on the verge of cracking the top 10 in the welterweight division and needs a win over a former world title challenger like Trabant to convince fans he’s ready. A solid win could even prop him to become Williams’s next foe for the WBO title if he wins tonight.


Williams and Quintana both weighed 146 and ¾ pounds.

Berto and Trabant both weighed 146 pounds.

Arreola weighed 244 pounds.