By Edgar Gonzalez/ Photos: Big Joe Miranda
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Halloween is celebrated at the end of October, but this year Halloween will be on April 11, 2009 when two of the most feared boxers in the world step in the ring at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former Junior Middleweight World champion Winky Wright will look to stop the meteoric rise of two-division World Champion Paul Williams in a 12 round middleweight bout that is destined to land the winner on the list of boxing’s best, pound-for-pound. Both Wright and Williams played host to a press conference today at the ESPN ZONE in Los Angeles.
This will be Paul Williams’ (36-1, 27KOs) first time fighting at Mandalay Bay since demolishing Santos Pakau with a 6 round TKO in November 2006.
“They call him the Punisher because that’s what he does inside the ring,” stated Dan Goossen, President of Goossen Tutor Promotions, the promoter of the night. “There’s a difference between feared and avoided. People might avoid Winky Wright because of his style, but people fear Paul Williams because what he could do.”
“You know me, I don’t do a lot of talking, I do my talking in the ring,” said the 6’3″ southpaw. “If Winky wants to play defense all night long then it should be an easy win for me.”
“I am going to get mine in, I’m known for throwing a lot of punches but come April 11, I am going to throw a lot more, my game plan is to outbox and break his defense.”
Winky Wright (51-4-1, 25 KOs) might be the most avoided fighter in the world; despite his 18-month furlough his self-confidence today gave hope to his boxing fans.
“People always ask me why don’t you fight again and I always tell them the same thing. It’s not me… people don’t want to fight me, those rumors about me being hard to negotiate or that I demand to much money is not true. I am willing to fight anyone,” declared Winky Wright. “I am very excited, people don’t know the things we went thru to get a fight. I have to give credit to Paul for stepping up to the plate, it’s about time someone did.”
“I am not all defense, yes I have a great defense but you need more to win a fight, I know it’s been almost 2 years, but I am motivated and I am ready.”
Mandalay Bay currently has Williams to be the favorite -140 to Winky’s +160. Winky Wright has put his own dent in the sport for nearly two decades. A former undisputed Junior Middleweight World Champion who made nine successful defenses of his crown, Wright truly broke through on the world scene in 2004 with a back-to-back wins over Sugar Shane Mosley. Winky moved up to middleweight in 2005 and defeated Puerto Rican Superstar Felix “Tito” Trinidad. Although he would suffer a decision loss to Bernard Hopkins in 2007, the 37-year-old veteran is determined and hungrier than ever for his showdown with Williams.
“Paul is one of the top young fighters in the game, but he hasn’t seen what I’ve seen or done what I have done. This is my time to shine and I won’t let this young fighter steal my spotlight.”
Tickets are now on sale and priced at $300, $200, $150, $100 and $50 and are available for purchase at all Ticket master location or at Mandalaybay.com