By Lem Satterfield
Promoter Dan Goossen called BoxingScene.com on Monday in the aftermath of Saturday night's controversial junior middleweight majority decision victory by his southaw three-time titlist Paul Williams over previously unbeaten southpaw rival Erislandy Lara at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Ringside judges Al Bennett, Hilton Whitaker and Don Givens, respectively, scored the fight at 114-114, 115-114, and, 116-114, the last two having it in favor of Williams (40-2, 27 knockouts).
Meanwhile, may other ringside observers awarded the win to Lara (15-1-1, 10 KOs) by as many as six points, or, nine rounds to three.
Goossen disagreed with the notion that Williams lost by such a lopsided margin, and also expressed his strong disapproval at the way that bout was both covered and called by HBO commentators. Goossen lashed out at former world champion, Roy Jones, in particular, all but calling the 42-year-old Jones a hypocrite for questioning whether or not Williams should retire when Jones has lost his last three fights, two of them by knockout.
Jones is coming off of May's 10th-round stoppage loss to Denis Lebedev.
BoxingScene.com: After having reviewed the fight on teleivision, what were some of your thoughts?
Dan Goossen: Well, we had an announcer [Roy Jones,] who mentioned that Paul Williams should retire. Well, this man still is going on and fighting and losing while he's in his 40s. I don't understand that type of situation. I don't understand it.
You even go to a comment from [Golden Boy Promotions Chief Operating Officer] Dave Iskowitch, which I think that you wrote [on BoxingScene.com.] Dave goes something like, 'The only thing that Lara had was a big welt on his head from a head butt, but Williams' face, it was like a pizza face.' But Williams' blood and his cut deeper and deeper from a head butt.
Sure, Williams got hit with some punches. So did Arturo Gatti. That's what our sport is. But this is how these things happen where you throw something out there, and it doesn't get a fair shake. Paul again said it best: 'I give some and I get some.' The key line here is that you've got three judges who are sitting there not being influenced by anybody else.
They were sitting next to each other, shoulder to shoulder, and all three of their cards were all right there in the same ballpark.
BoxingScene.com: Anything else?
DG: Well, I was watching the fight with my 12-year-old, Rex, Okay? And he doesn't know anything that's going on. But we're watching the fight last night and he turns to me at the end of the sixth round. At that point, I think that Williams has won five of the six rounds. He turns to me and he said, 'Daddy, why are they being so mean to Paul?'
That was my 12-year-old, Rex, without me doing anything but shutting my mouth and scoring the fight again. A 12-year-old saw it.
BoxingScene.com: Were you troubled by the fact that Paul Williams did not appear to adjust to the left hand, despite being asked to do so by his trainer George Peterson?
DG: Well, I disagree with you about the head movement, because if you look at the first six rounds, you will see that he rolls his shoulders very well with those lefts that were coming. He's moving his head much better than I've seen him move it over those first six rounds. What happened to Paul on Saturday night in my humble opinion is that he never got his second wind.
I think that that was a direct result of having been off for virtually eight months. Paul Williams has been off in spans before, but not off where he's taken time off from the gym and everything else.
I believe that that had a direct result and impact on him not getting that second wind.
And when you look at this fight understanding that, you can see that he never recaptured that onslaught of punches that he normally does. From the first round to the 12th round, although he was in every round, he was impacted by his lack of a second wind. But he showed his heart and his guts, and it brings back memories of Arturro Gatti.
That's what we used to love about Arturo Gatti. We would sit back and be amazed at the punishment that he was able to absorb, and yet, he was able to come back. I just believe that there was more to this than meets the eye. Did he get hit with a lot of lefts? You're damn right that he did. I mean, I hate to say it, but that's the damn boxing business.
That's what makes Paul Williams an exciting fighter, because you're not going to make him a Fancy Dan the same way that you're not going to make Aruro Gatti that way. But look at the first six rounds and even the last six rounds, and you will see that he did a much better job of deflecting those punches and left hands than he was given credit for.