Paul Williams, Sergio Martinez ready for 'fistfight' in rematch
Boxing fans won't have to pay the $54.95 they shelled out last week for Saturday's world middleweight championship between Argentina's Sergio Martinez and challenger Paul Williams.
The winner, however, will want you paying for his next fight.
"As long as you keep winning, doors open," said Williams (39-1, 27 KOs), who aspires along with Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez and Miguel Cotto to be the next opponent of Manny Pacquiao if Floyd Mayweather Jr. declines again to participate in boxing's Super Bowl.
Saturday's Martinez-Williams fight will be on HBO, and it's a rematch of their compelling Dec. 5, 2009 battle in which they traded first-round knockdowns en route to a Williams victory by majority decision. The weight limit was a catchweight figure, 158 pounds.
Williams proceeded from their first date to a controversial technical decision over Kermit Cintron in May, when Cintron fell out of the Home Depot Center ring and was injured, unable to continue fighting, in the fourth round.
Martinez (45-2-2, 24 KOs) captured the WBC middleweight belt in April with a unanimous decision over Kelly Pavlik and contends he's ready to display the skills and resilience needed to defeat a fellow southpaw who possesses a six-inch reach and three-inch height advantage.
"After this fight, I'll be a pay-per-view fighter," Martinez said. "It will not be close this time. I will knock him out in seven rounds."
Martinez, who trained in Oxnard for the bout, said he was "intimidated" by Williams' unusual size advantages in their first meeting, "but now I know I'm better than him.
"I will dominate the whole round until our fight ends."
Williams is emboldened by the fact he's had two full months to prepare for the fight. Last time, his training time for Martinez was shortened to less than a month because the Argentinian was a replacement fighter for the injured Pavlik.
"It doesn't matter what he can do, because I'm determined to be considered one of the best in this sport," Williams said. "I'm going to go out there and be myself. I'm not going to think about impressing people. You do that, you make mistakes. My game plan is like a Christmas present: I'll keep it a surprise."
Williams and his promoter, Dan Goossen, are pushing for Pacquiao to put the southpaw from South Carolina on top of his no-Mayweather list, but when asked earlier this month if he had any interest in fighting Williams, the 5-foot-6 Pacquiao looked upward as if he was attempting eye contact with the 6-1 Williams and said, "No."
"With a victory by Paul, especially a dominant one in a bout that's sure to be an old-fashioned fistfight, there's nowhere else for Pacquiao to go but to fight the best," Goossen said. "I respect his performance [Saturday against Antonio Margarito], but you need to match yourself against someone who mirrors your speed and skills."
-- Lance Pugmire