By Lem Satterfield
Dan Goossen, who promotes former champion Paul "The Punisher" Williams (39-2, 27KOs), confirmed BoxingScene.com's breaking report from Thursday, regarding a deal being reached for Williams to face undefeated Erislandy Lara (15-0-1, 10KOs) on July 9th. HBO will televise the fight. Williams returns for the first time since suffering a two round knockout defeat to Sergio Martinez back in November.
Because of their styles, and Lara's hunger to make a name for himself, Goossen expects fireworks. He believes Lara and his promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, took the fight because they truly feel that it's the "right time" to fight Williams, who suffered a bad knockout in his previous outing.
BoxingScene.com: What might be next after Lara? Why not return in another big fight?
Dan Goossen: "You know, I think that everything comes in due time. But there are certain fights that we want that are big fights, and one of those big fights I know off of the top of my head is another fight with Sergio Martinez. That's a fight that we certainly want to get back, and I believe that it's a fight that's gotta be made. Right now, though, it's about looking at Paul's next fight, taking on a young, hungry kid who realizes that he's in a big fight and realizes what a victory over Paul Williams does for him."
"So you can't look past any Cuban fighter, especially one who is in tip, top shape, because they've been instructed by some of the best, and again, I'm sure that Golden Boy and Luis DeCubas and Lara all believe that if you're going to get Paul Williams, that now is the time to get him."
BoxingScene.com: Why did you choose Lara?
Dan Goossen: "Think that what happens a lot of times these young fighters, they start to get a name for themselves, and they start thinking that things are always going to be that easy, and you find out that it's not. But I hear that he's been back in the gym and wanted a big fight and he called out Paul Williams, and you know Paul, we'll fight anybody. I think that it's a great match up and I believe that it's going to be a tremendous fight."
BoxingScene.com: Do you think Lara is ready for this kind of challenge?
Dan Goossen: "If you look at the road that the Cubans are taking the last few years, that's going right into the storm. Certainly they've quite frankly had success doing it. The Cuban fighters that have recently come over and started fighting in the U.S. I guess that Yuriorkis Gamboa is the one who has kind of led the way and taken on challenges after four, five or six fights that were quite surprising."
"Lara hasn't really been any different. He's taken on the Darnell Boone's and the Grady Brewers and that's one tough veteran that he should beat, but I think that Brewer, in particular, was one of those fights that was an eye-opener because for his handlers, Golden Boy and Luis DeCubas, they see that he stopped Brewer. And Brewer hadn't been stopped for probably 10, 12 fights. That was a good win for Lara.":
"Even a Del Ray Raines, who Lara fought two fights ago. I saw Del Ray Raines fighting this Saturday under the Andrew Ward-Arthur Abraham undercard, and he fought the German kid, the undefeated kid, and I've got to tell you, Del Ray gave as good as he got and eventually lost the fight, but it was a battle and a back and forth fight and one that Raines certainly let the German know that he was there to win. If you look at Lara's record, he stopped the same fighter in one round in Raines."