Los Angeles, CA – Former World Champion Paul “The Punisher” Williams looks to show the fans that his relentless offensive output will be back and better than ever, along with his winning ways since his most recent setback; and with the opening televised bout, Rico Ramos, will be seeking to win his first world title – both bouts being featured on an HBO “Boxing After Dark” at 10:15pm ET/PT doubleheader presented by Goossen Tutor Promotions in association with Golden Boy Promotions and Teiken Promotions on Saturday night, July 9, from the Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall and hosted by Caesars Atlantic City.
Williams (30-2, 27 KOs) – a two-time holder of the WBO Welterweight belt who sustained a stunning second-round knockout loss at the hands of Sergio Martinez in his attempt to claim Martinez’ WBC Middleweight crown last November – headlines the telecast in a schedule 12-round bout against undefeated and world-ranked Cuban defector Erislandy Lara (15-0-1, 10 KO) in a battle of southpaws.
The opening bout of the featured doubleheader pits #1-ranked Ramos (19-0, 10 KOs) challenging the champion, Akifumi Shimoda (23-2-1, 10 KOs) in another 12-round bout for the Tokyo native’s WBA Super Bantamweight Title.
The 29-year old Williams (rated #2 WBC, #6 WBO & #8 IBF at 154 lbs.), who lives in Augusta, GA and defeated Martinez in their first meeting by majority decision back in December, 2009, was stopped by a devastating counter left hook in the second round of their rematch. The lanky left-hander will be fighting for the first time since than looking to rebound against a challenger who has yet to taste defeat as a professional and is world ranked #5 by both the IBF and WBA.
The big question to be answered is whether or not the once-billed “World’s Most Feared Fighter” can overcome the knockout adversity like other great champions before him, such as Tommy Hearns, Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko, to name a few. To find this out Williams has elected to take on a young, hungry tiger in Lara, with the amateur pedigree of all Cuban fighters and like other recent Cuban fighters ready and willing to take the fast track to stardom.
“I just need to get in the ring and show the fans rather than talk about what I know I can do. Lara is tough and I know he’ll be ready to do what he can to beat me, but I’ll be ready to make my statement on July 9,” said Williams.
Lara, a 28-year old native of Guantanamo, Cuba currently living in Miami, FL, has registered knockouts in his last four victories, which preceded a draw against Carlos Molina (17-4-1) in his most recent outing in Las Vegas back in March.
On the big opportunity facing Lara, he said “We’ve been trained since little kids to be ready for this type of fight, and I will not let all my hard work throughout those years stop me from beating Williams and knowing what a win over a former 3-time world champion would mean for my career.”
Ramos, who will turn 24 on June 20, hails from Pico Rivera, CA and trains out of the Broadway Boxing Gym in South LA. As an amateur he was a 2008 Olympic Team alternate. “Suavecito” will be fighting in Atlantic City for the second time, having posted a unanimous-decision win over Alejandro Valdez in his most recent outing back in February. While boxing fans have come to know Ramos through his many televised appearances, he will be making his HBO debut as he attempts to bring a world title back to the United States.
“I’m very excited to be fighting for a world title,” Ramos, who has switched back to former trainer Steve Jenkins for this bout, said. “It’s a blessing to be at the top of the rankings where I am right now and I am ready to become a world champion. It will be my first time on HBO and I’ve been training real hard and will be ready July 9th. I’ve seen Shimoda on tape and he is a really tough fighter. He moves well and punches hard, so I’ll be prepared to give it right back to him.”
“I am very honored to be fighting in Atlantic City, New Jersey,” Shimoda, who will be making his first defense of the title he won by unanimous decision over Ryol Li Lee back in January. “I look forward to putting on a great performance to defend my WBA belt in front of the American boxing fans. I know this will be a tough fight since he is ranked number 1 in the WBA and the mandatory opponent for my title. I am dedicating this fight to give encouragement to the victims of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan.”
“Like the rest of America, I’m waiting for Paul Williams to get back doing what made him such an exciting and formidable fighter,” said Dan Goossen of Goossen Tutor Promotions. “Paul is simply one of the most aggressive and fun fighters in the sport. As for Ramos, it’s always a thrill when you see a young fighter develop and fight his way to the top. But it all means nothing without bringing that World Championship back home. That’s what we’re here for.”
Tickets for this July 9 Goossen Tutor Promotions world championship boxing event go on sale tomorrow, Friday, May 27 and are priced at $300 $200, $100 and $50. Fans can purchase tickets now at all Ticketmaster outlets.