By Rick Reeno
The welterweight division may become a little deeper on May 8. Promoter Dan Goossen told BoxingScene.com on Thursday that Paul "The Punisher" Williams is seriously considering a return to the welterweight division. Both Williams and his trainer George Peterson have advised Goossen that a drop in weight to 147 will not be a problem.
Goossen is currently taking a look at opponents in the welterweight and junior middleweight divisions. Some of the fighters include Luis Collazo, Kermit Cintron and several welterweight fighters in Don King's stable. Goossen did not disclose the names of the King fighters, but I've heard from another source that undefeated James De La Rosa is a possible candidate.
“In our next fight, we're either going to make a statement at the 147 or we’re going to fight someone at junior middleweight. Right now we’re looking at Collazo, Cintron and several undefeated welterweights with Don King. The key is George Peterson. He said all along that Paul can still make 147, and at this point a lot of people doubt that," Goossen told BoxingScene.com.
"A return to welterweight would be tremendous. And it would answer the question on whether of not he can still be as affective at 147, based on him fighting at the 154 and 160 in his last few fights. I think he’ll be stronger which is scary."
HBO has expressed interest in a Williams return to welterweight. Goossen himself is very excited. Williams has not fought at welterweight since June 2008 when he knocked out Carlos Quintana in one round. Since that time, Williams has had three fights at 160 and one fight at 154. As Goossen admits, there is a lot doubt, from insiders, about Williams being able to make the welterweight limit.
"HBO understands the value of Paul going down to welterweight. We would do it to raise hell in the 147-pound division. Paul Williams returning to welterweight - that in itself is a story. If we make the decision to go back down to welterweight, the statement we want to make to all of the welterweights is ‘don’t dare say you’re the best welterweight when Paul is in that division. Don’t dare say you’re fighting the best welterweight unless Paul Williams is in the other corner.’"
Goossen knows the major players at the weight. Shane Mosley, in several recent interviews with BoxingScene, changed his position on fighting Williams. In the past, Mosley had no interest in facing Williams and even advised him to look for opponents at the higher weights. If Mosley beats Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 1, he would consider a fight with Williams. Goossen still has his doubts.
"We know who is fighting at 147. I don’t have to name them. We’ve tried to put Paul in there with all of them. No amount of money and no amount of shame could get them in the ring. They are warriors but Paul is on another level and he’s proven that in the ring," Goossen said.
"It goes all the way back to Margarito. We had to go through a lawsuit to get him in the ring because the last thing Bob [Arum] wanted to do was to put Margarito in there and of course Paul ended his reign. That’s why I give a lot of credit to Verno Phillips, Winky Wright and Sergio Martinez because they were all willing to go in there with Williams. And we know how many more have distanced themselves from being in the same ring with Williams."