|Sharkie’s Machine: Carlos Quintana Shatters Paul Williams’ Mystique - Boxing
By Frank Gonzalez Jr., Exclusive to Doghouse Boxing (Feb 10, 2008) Photo © German Villasenor
Saturday night at the Pechanga Casino Resort in Temecula California , WBO Welterweight champion Paul “The Punisher” Williams (33-1, 24 KO’s) lost his title and his mystique to a somewhat under rated contender named Carlos “El Indio” Quintana (25-1, 19 KO’s).
Maybe Paul Williams was just having a bad day or is not accustomed to fighting other Southpaws but whatever it was, the story of this fight was Quintana’s left hand and his ability to move in and out of range to tag Williams
with clean punches all night.
At six feet and possibly two inches tall, Paul Williams is very tall for a welterweight. He entered the ring weighing 164 pounds after officially weighing in at 146. He looked lean and mean sporting a Mohawk. But unless you’re Mia St. John, looks don’t count in the ring.
This is what happens when you arrive before you get there. Paul Williams, whose only real claim to fame was beating Antonio Margarito, the man nobody wanted to fight, suddenly became the man nobody wanted to fight because he’s too tall, too powerful and too dangerous. Saturday night was an example of reality trumping image as Williams got beat convincingly by bump in the road warrior in Carlos Quintana Saturday night in California .
Before losing to Cotto in 2006, Quintana out boxed Joel Julio earlier that year and demonstrated his boxing pedigree.
An action packed round with Quintana showing no fear of Williams. Quintana was able to land clean shots, mostly left hands. Williams landed some jabs and struck an imposing figure as he stood so much taller than Quintana and referee Jack Reis. There were a lot of exchanges and Quintana was getting the better shots off consistently. Williams’ lengthy arms were too long to be effective at the distance Quintana was affording him. Quintana landed a clean uppercut to the face of Williams. 10-9 Quintana.
Quintana started out landing a clean right and was generally landing the better punches. Williams was having trouble landing anything more than arm punches with little power. Quintana landed a flush left that stunned Williams, who was unable to hurt Quintana because Quintana was always quick to slip under and away from the much taller Williams. Quintana out boxed Williams. 10-9 Quintana.
Williams revved up the aggression and pressured Quintana. They both scored in spots during exchanges. Williams looked awkward at times as Quintana showed superior defense and always managed to land a right, overhand left combo as they turned. As good as Quintana was doing, he did look a bit tired, considering how early it was in the fight. 10-9 Quintana.
Quintana scored immediately to start the fourth round with another left to the face. As they boxed, Quintana landed a few right hooks. Williams picked it up and landed some decent shots later in the round as he pressed the action and Quintana was always on the move. Quintana did land better shots and though it was a close round, Quintana landed the more telling shots. 10-9 Quintana.
Quintana landed a good body shot and Williams took it well. Williams proved to be in excellent condition and showed a great chin considering how often he was being hit. Williams kept the pressure on but could only manage to land grazing punches. Before the round ended, Quintana landed another right, overhand left combo. Quintana’s movement kept Williams out of sync. 10-9 Quintana.
Williams finally landed a big left hook that stunned Quintana, who was looking tired. Quintana landed that same combo of right, overhand left to the face. Hey, if it works, don’t fix it. Quintana was usually able to avoid being hit by any of Williams’ power punches. Quintana dictated the spacing between them well. Williams was reduced to arm punches, which were ineffective. Williams was busy, being aggressive but Quintana’s movement and slick offense and timing continued to be the difference as round six came to a close. 10-9 Quintana. A shutout so far on my card.
(Williams’ corner advised him to put constant pressure on Quintana and to use his jab much more to set things up.)
Williams followed his instructions and pressured Quintana. Quintana landed a sweet right uppercut. Williams’ nose bled but he kept moving forward and eventually landed a clean right to the face of Quintana, who was starting to hold more often since it was a good way to score on the inside while getting some oxygen in the process. Williams did not look like an effective puncher but he did manage to catch Quintana with some decent shots in the last moments of the round. Williams was working hard and round seven was his best effort so far. 10-9 Williams.
Williams was more intense in round eight, which saw him land more arm punches and grazing shots that weren’t hurting Quintana, but they were scoring. Quintana was fighting lazy, conserving his energy as best he could, moving away and coming back with a bit less steam than earlier. He did land a good shot to the body early on. Williams is tough, he took all Quintana could deliver and never looked shaken. He was cut over his left eye but that wasn’t the problem so much as he simply couldn’t get into any kind of sustainable groove. Williams was working harder and out hustled Quintana in the eighth. Quintana landed a clean left then a clean left hook but it wasn’t enough to win the round. 10-9 Williams.
(Between rounds, Quintana’s face looked unmarked but he looked exhausted. Williams’ eye was being attended, bleeding from a gash on the right side, his left cheek swollen but he looked fresh and ready to go.)
Quintana looked sluggish but landed a straight left then a left hook. Williams chased him with pressure and had a few good moments. Quintana started tasting leather as Williams mounted a respectable attack until Quintana found his face with that same right, overhand left combination that was working all night. Williams was definitely in better shape stamina-wise at this juncture of the fight but he still couldn’t live up to the expectations set upon him. Quintana ultimately landed the more accurate punches as Williams kept coming forward. 10-9 Quintana.
Williams was landing more often than before but without much pop, mostly because of the in and out range presented by Quintana, who continued to do more of the same; landing counter punches that were scoring points. Williams did use his jab effectively for a while but Quintana was able to slip away from it. Williams kept pressing but Quintana’s run and punch tactic was the difference again. Williams was now cut over both eyes. 10-9 Quintana.
More of the same, with Williams pressing and Quintana moving and looking for counter opportunities, which came often. Quintana’s punches were clean, Williams were not. Quintana was landing at a very high percentage and clinching when Williams threatened to change things. Williams’ defensive skills are nothing to brag about. Quintana landed several left hands in the waning moments of the eleventh round. 10-9 Quintana.
(Quintana’s corner told him he had to win the final round, they probably figured they wouldn’t get a fair shake with the Judges against the highly touted Paul Williams, and winning the last round might be the difference.)
Quintana suddenly looked energetic, bouncing around and taking a few shots from Williams in the process. Williams was busier and obviously aware that he needed a great round to lend credibility to any potential gifts by the Judges. But the fact was that Williams needed a knockout to win at this point on my scorecard at least. Williams out worked Quintana until the bell. 10-9 Williams.
Quintana jumped up onto the corner ropes and raised his arms in victory. The crowd cheered loudly in confirmation.
The Judges scores were read. 115-113 and 116-112 twice, all in favor of Carlos Quintana, the NEW WBO Welterweight Champion.
This loss is not the end of the world for Paul Williams. He needs to work on his defense and his footwork so he’ll be more effective at cutting off the ring against mobile fighters in the future. He’d be wise to work on the short game too, tightening up his short punches against what will almost always be shorter opponents that need to get in close to score against him. He’s a tough kid and I expect we’ll be seeing him bounce back real soon since nobody’s going to be afraid to fight him after what they saw last Saturday night.
I think a good come back fight for Williams would be to take on Andre Berto (21-0, 18 KO’s), who fought on the under card against an opponent that showed no interest in winning named Michel Trabant (43-3-1, 19 KO’s). Berto is an exciting fighter that throws punches in bunches, he’s undefeated, has good offense and a questionable defense. Other than David Estrada, who has Berto beaten worth mentioning? These guys are perfect for each other.
As for Carlos Quintana, congratulations on an outstanding effort as an underdog in a big fight for a World Title. After he finishes celebrating this great victory, I look forward to seeing him fight guys like Kermit Cintron, Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley (for a very nice payday I’m sure), Joshua Clottey and there are many good match ups for him. Welterweight is one of the richest divisions in boxing in terms of talent. At 31 years old, he may still have a couple of very good fighting years left in him. It’ll be interesting to see who he fights next. Maybe he’ll fight for a couple of big paydays and ride off into the sunset. Whatever he does, I wish him well.
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