By Karl Freitag
Eric Gomez, Golden Boy VP and matchmaker, stated today that former world champion Paul Williams (40-2, 27 KOs) was the only fighter that would take on James Kirkland-conqueror Nobuhiro Ishida (24-6-2, 9 KOs). He also revealed that Kirkland “wasn’t too interested” in avenging his first round KO loss to the 36-year-old Japanese fighter. “When Ishida beat Kirkland, we went and we tried to make any fight we could and nobody wanted to fight Ishida. A lot of guys came back ‘no, he’s to tall, he’s difficult, he’s awkward,’ this and that, and Paul Williams is pretty much the only guy that stepped up.
“We tried so many things. We even talked to Kirkland about doing a rematch. He wasn’t too interested and that’s our own guy. But Paul Williams stepped up and said I want to fight Ishida. I don’t care who he is or who he beat, and I just want to commend Paul Williams for that.”
Williams and Ishida collide February 18 in the main event at the American Bank Center Arena in Corpus Christi, Texas. Unbeaten IBF light heavyweight champion Tavoris Cloud (24-0, 19 KOs) will risk his 175-pound crown for a third time when he faces Gabriel Campillo (21-3-1, 8 KOs) in the SHOWTIME co-feature.