By Rick Reeno
WBC junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (40-0-1, 29KOs) may receive a very tall order for his September title defense – in the form of 6’3 Paul “The Punisher” Williams (41-2, 27KOs). There are very positive discussions taking place, says Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, to finalize Alvarez-Williams as a pay-per-view headliner for September 15th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“[Negotiations] are going very well. We had some very good meetings with his team, and with Canelo as well. As a matter of fact, [Golden Boy President] Oscar [De La Hoya] met with him today again. There are very good conversations. I met with the adviser for Paul Williams, Al Haymon, and we are working on that. We are working on trying to finalize the fight between Canelo and Paul Williams,” Schaefer told BoxingScene.com.
Nobody can dispute the danger involved. Williams, standing at 6’3 and having a reach of 82 inches, has a clear physical advantage over the 5’9 champion with a reach of 71 inches. Williams also has a very high workrate and he doesn’t get tired. But, Canelo is not intimidated and indicated to Golden Boy that he wants the fight. Everything appears to be moving in a positive direction in terms of a deal being reached.
Schaefer is confident that a win over Williams will open up the door for potential mega-events with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Miguel Cotto.
“That’s what Canelo wants…he wants to fight the best. [Williams] has been one of the most avoided fighters. He’s an awkward fighter. He’s a different style from anyone that Canelo has ever fought. It’s a dangerous fight,” Schaefer said.
“People want to see big fight and this is a big fight and a dangerous fight. Protecting [unbeaten records] and as a result fighting guys where people already know the result when you go into the venue….who the hell wants to see that? There are other possibilities but this is a big fight and a dangerous fight and that’s what people want to see.”
“If he goes and beats Paul Williams, then I think all of those people who say ‘we’re still not so convinced by Canelo’ – they should just shut up.”