By Rick Reeno
After a dominating performance over Winky Wright, the once-beaten Paul “The Punisher” Williams has been aggressively hunting for a major name at middleweight, junior middleweight and welterweight. The buck didn’t stop there. Williams’ promoter Dan Goossen was actually trying to get Williams in the ring with Bernard Hopkins, a light heavyweight.
Despite his best efforts, Goossen has been unsuccessful with enticing the big names, like Shane Mosley and Hopkins, to accept a fight with Williams.
“We aggressively went after Shane Mosley and Shane at this point of his career would rather stay idle. I can’t say anything negative about Shane because he never turned down a challenge, even when it wasn’t in his best interest like the fight with Winky Wright,” Goossen told BoxingScene.com
“I think money and all of the other good things that come with that will not make Shane take a challenge like Paul Williams. Who can blame him? Paul is welterweight but is so much bigger and stronger than the other welterweights - and that makes it so much more difficult to get him a fight.”
“Bernard Hopkins is surprisingly silent. Like Mosley, at this stage of his career Bernard would rather have a lot more control over what could be considered his last fight. Paul is a tough nut even for a much bigger man to crack. We are certainly willing to put our welterweight in with the bigger Bernard Hopkins.”
Williams is still the interim-WBO junior middleweight champion. The natural fight to make would come against the full champion, undefeated Sergei Dzinziruk. Williams has called for Dzinziruk, and the Ukrainian-born fighter has answered that call. The dollar signs will decide if the fight can actually come together.
“We have a lot of options. There are other fighters and champions out there, like Sergei Dzinziruk - the undefeated WBO champion from Germany. I’ve admired his aggressiveness in trying to land the fight. It would allow Paul to go down to a weight between where he recently fought [middleweight] and where he would like to fight [welterweight]. We have other options out there. Hopefully we will have something settled in the next week or so,” Goossen said.
“I feel that pretty soon we are going to have an announcement. It’s a blessing to have someone who is so feared, but as the great Joe Louis said – ‘you can run but you can’t hide.’ That will always allow us to go out there and match him with someone who will certainly be a significant fight.”