|09-21-2010, 01:29 PM||#1|
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williams martinez 2 november20th
LOS ANGELES (AP)—Paul Williams and Sergio Martinez will fight on Nov. 20 in a rematch of last year’s acclaimed bout.
After several months of on-and-off negotiations, Williams promoter Dan Goossen finalized plans Monday for his fighter to meet Martinez at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, just downstairs from the site of Williams’ contested majority-decision victory in their first meeting Dec. 5.
After failing yet again in his quixotic quest to land a welterweight title shot, the versatile Williams (39-1, 27 KOs) accepted an HBO bout for Martinez’s WBC 160-pound title
“They’re tough fights to make at this level,” Goossen told The Associated Press. “You’ve got these two aggressive fighters who are the most avoided guys in this sport, so there’s no guessing what’s going to happen in that ring.”
Martinez (45-2-2, 24 KOs) stepped in to face Williams last year after Kelly Pavlik twice postponed a mandatory title defense against Williams due to a staph infection, and the ensuing fight was among the most memorable of 2009.
The left-handed fighters traded knockdowns in the first round, and Williams developed a significant cut by the fourth round of a physical fight including several clashes of heads. Williams earned the victory by throwing more punches and matching Martinez’s speed.
Two judges favored Williams while a third scored the bout as a draw. Martinez’s camp decried one judge’s 119-110 scorecard in favor of Williams.
But Martinez, an Argentine who lives in California, rebounded impressively from his first loss since Antonio Margarito stopped him in February 2000, winning won the WBC and WBO titles with a unanimous decision over Pavlik last April.
Williams hasn’t fought since May 8, when Kermit Cintron went tumbling through the ropes in the fifth round of their bout in Carson, Calif. Cintron wasn’t allowed to continue fighting, resulting in a bizarre victory for Williams.
Williams’ promoters and advisers have spent months attempting to land a welterweight fight against Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr. or another 147-pound champion, but their rangy client’s height and reach make him a nightmare matchup for most fighters in what he says is his natural weight class. Williams claims he can comfortably fight anywhere from 147 to 168 pounds, but his team believes the most lucrative fights are at welterweight.
“I’m just not used to champions out there claiming to be the best in their respective weight divisions, but completely avoiding another fighter who’s a champion in that weight division,” Goossen said. “Paul wants to continue his career in that division, and the other champions just run as quickly and as far away as possible. It’s frustrating from that standpoint.”
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