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Thread: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

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    Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different
    By Frank Lotierzo from Sweet Science

    Why isn't there more buzz surrounding former welterweight champion Paul Williams? Williams very well may be a once in a generation talent. Couple that with his willingness to fight the best of the best opposition available, he should be a future star. If what he says is true, that being he can still make the welterweight limit of 147 pounds, the possible fights out there for him between welterweight and middleweight are almost mind boggling.

    The 27 year-old Williams is listed at 6'1" and possesses an 82-inch reach, which is longer than that of former all-time greats Larry Holmes, Michael Spinks and Thomas Hearns. Hearns is the fighter Williams has most often been compared to. The obvious reason for that is basically because of their freakish size and physical stature, and likeHearns he hasn't struggled trying to get down to the welterweight limit of 147 pounds. The boxing world witnessed Hearns win titles from welterweight through cruiserweight solidifying his greatness. On the other hand Williams is still in the infancy of a journey to greatness equaling that of the level of which Hearns reached.

    The comparisons drawn between Williams and Hearns are legitimate. That said, their style and approach to fighting aren't similar. Williams is a southpaw and may actually be more versatile than Hearns was. Most think of Hearns as having been a terrific puncher who could really box. Which isn't wrong, but it's different than being the boxer-puncher that Williams is.Hearns approached every fight with his mindset and intent being to take off his opponents' head. Hearns was a certified life-taker as a puncher and carried his punch up to light heavyweight. It's a known fact that Hearns sought the early knockout every time he climbed into the ring, something he was capable of delivering with his right cross or his left hook.

    However, once Hearns sensed he wasn't going to get the sensational knockout, he got up on his toes and boxed. Hearns' left jab was terrific at setting up his missile like right hand, but when he chose to box he fired it in multiples and looked to occupy his opponent and to score. Rarely did Tommy look to sit down on his punches once he made the transition from life-taker to "boxer."Hearns the boxer fought moving back and relied on volume more than power as the fight progressed. When boxing, Hearns seldom used his wicked left-hook to the body nor did he throw many uppercuts other than in an attempt to keep his opponent honest, limitations that led to him not being a very effective in-fighter. Thomas Hearns was a great puncher who could use the ring and box from the outside if he was fighting an overwhelmingly strong opponent that he couldn't stop or drop. His punch variation was basically limited to straight punches from the outside. What saved him and kept him from being exposed if forced to fight on the inside was, it was tough getting inside against him.

    Paul Williams is nowhere near the puncher that Thomas Hearns was and that may ultimately be the reason he doesn't run through the divisions above welterweight like Hearns did. However, he is a more versatile fighter than Hearns was and makes up for his lack of power by averaging 100 punches per-round, which is astonishing for a fighter who isn't much of a jabber or slapper. Williams is a boxer-puncher and is more likely to score stoppage wins later in the fight than we sawHearns do. Williams fights pretty much the same every time out. He looks to use his reach to set up his power from bell-to-bell during every round.

    The difference between Williams and Hearns is Williams is a much better and more dangerous fighter on the inside. Williams throws beautiful hooks and uppercuts while moving forward or backward. His punch variation is more diverse and sophisticated thanHearns ' was. He's also great at disguising his uppercut and hook. Sometimes when his motion appears to begin as a hook it becomes an uppercut and viceversa. In his last fight against the defensive minded Winky Wright, Williams fooled him continuously by feinting the hook and coming up between his tight guard with the uppercut, then feinting the uppercut and coming around the side and landing with a left-hook below Wright's right elbow. This was something that no fighter has ever had success doing versus Wright without getting picked apart in the process.

    Hearns had faster hands than Williams, but Williams has exhibited better punch placement. They're both very accurate with the difference being Williams can get through and score with less of an opening. Instead of blasting through what isn't there a laHearns, Williams finesses his way through and scores where there didn't appear to be even a slight leak.

    It's been discussed and some have referred to Williams as being Hearns with a better chin; this is a thought I'm not ready to endorse yet, for one simple and obvious reason. I haven't seen Williams in with and touched by a fighter who was as heavy-handed as Iran Barkley or Juan Roldan, nor has he faced a fighter with the accuracy and power of Sugar Ray Leonard, or the combination of strength and toughness of MarvinHagler.

    However, there are plenty of opportunities awaiting Paul Williams to enable him to make his case as being the next Thomas Hearns, something Vernon Forrest never quite achieved. With strong middleweights like Kelly Pavlik and Arthur Abraham at the top of the division, Williams should get his chance to prove if he can approach the success Thomas Hearns realized making the jump from welterweight to middleweight.

    Paul Williams and Thomas Hearns share the physical trait of being extraordinarily tall welterweights, but other than their great natural talent, arm reach and willingness to fight anyone, there's nothing to really connect them.

    Actually, Williams isn't much like anyone else I can think of and Hearns wasn't either.

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    The issue about the chins will be tested if Williams takes Pavlik's shots.
    To date, as the writers says, William's has not tasted the venom that
    Tommy tasted, so to compare the chins would not lead to accuracy.

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    Imo, Hearns would KO Williams at 147 & 154. Too big of a puncher.

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    I'm big on Paul Williams. I think he'll be around a long time and will find his way into some truly great fights. Many people think I'm jumping the gun, but I truly believe betting on Paul to beat Pavlik would be free money. He's far from perfect technically, but I see something special in him. He's pure fighter like Tommy.

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    WIlliams has got mad sick skills and the comparisons to Hears are appropriate. He made Margrito look like a chump even with gloves were loaded with concrete.

    Paul williams is the most avoided man in boxing for a reason,

    WKS

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    Well, Hearns better KO Williams, because Williams is an animal for the volume and pace and stamina and if Hearns doesn't take him out, I see Williams coming on late to earn the win. It's a fantasy match I haven't seen posted. Makes for a great fight

    If Paul has a top level chin, he beats Tommy at 147 and 154. He is a bigger guy and a stronger guy all over.

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    I hear this comparison many times, at this point in his carreer paul needs to be matched up by the divisions best ,Thing is one can see he'll probably end up fighting up to 154 ,160,168 similar to the hitman, Imo with williams having a few more years of fighting to gain a respect he deserves, I'd like to think Hearns by late KO.

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    Quote Originally Posted by walshb
    Well, Hearns better KO Williams, because Williams is an animal for the volume and pace and stamina and if Hearns doesn't take him out, I see Williams coming on late to earn the win. It's a fantasy match I haven't seen posted. Makes for a great fight

    If Paul has a top level chin, he beats Tommy at 147 and 154. He is a bigger guy and a stronger guy all over.

    How is Williams bigger and stronger? They are the same height and Williams doesn't have anywhere near the punching power of Tommy.

    I like what I've seen so far from Williams but knocking ut Quintana in 1 doesn't erase the fact he lost to him in the first fight in a fight Paul looked terrible in. It'll take more than beating an old Wright and Margarito to have me proclaiming him the next Hearns.

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    Quote Originally Posted by hagler04
    How is Williams bigger and stronger? They are the same height and Williams doesn't have anywhere near the punching power of Tommy.

    I like what I've seen so far from Williams but knocking ut Quintana in 1 doesn't erase the fact he lost to him in the first fight in a fight Paul looked terrible in. It'll take more than beating an old Wright and Margarito to have me proclaiming him the next Hearns.
    Overall, I would say Paul is a bigger man and a stronger man. I never said a harder hitter, which he is not. Strength is so so important in boxing and it's strength that sees a Hearns lose to a McCallum or McClellan type fighter.

    Now, Williams is a very durable and versatile fighter with decent power and major
    stamina and volume. His package of size and strength and stamina and work
    rate will be a problem for any welter or Junior Middle.

    Hearns is a class act, but he could be hurt, worn down and broke, IF, his power
    didn't do the trick; and if Tommy's power cannot get rid of Paul, then Williams is the favorite
    IMO!

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    This comparison is premature in my book. IMO Tommy's boxing skills are certainly as good or better than Williams. Punching power was evident. If Williams ever meets the type of opposition Tommy did (which I don't believe exists in todays market), and impresses me, then I might change my mind.
    Gary

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    ABsolutely, at 147 williams might not get another big fight, as his contemporaries seem fit to aviod. He'll have to go up in weight to get bigger fights.

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    Quote Originally Posted by walshb
    Overall, I would say Paul is a bigger man and a stronger man. I never said a harder hitter, which he is not. Strength is so so important in boxing and it's strength that sees a Hearns lose to a McCallum or McClellan type fighter.

    Now, Williams is a very durable and versatile fighter with decent power and major
    stamina and volume. His package of size and strength and stamina and work
    rate will be a problem for any welter or Junior Middle.

    Hearns is a class act, but he could be hurt, worn down and broke, IF, his power
    didn't do the trick; and if Tommy's power cannot get rid of Paul, then Williams is the favorite
    IMO!

    But how can you assume Williams is stronger? Williams hasn't exactly been taking on a plethora of knockout artists . .he certainly hasn't lasted with guys who have the strength and power that Hearns lasted with and beat. Margarito? Is Daniel Santos now stronger than Hearns too?

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    He's more like a poor man's less well schooled Jibaro Perez.

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    Very interesting thread, guys. "The Punisher" will be one of my guests on my SiriusXM show, "Fight Club," on Friday at 6:00 pm (ET). For those of you who get SiriusXM, the show is on Sirius channel 127 & XM 105. I intend to throw this fantasy fight (he vs. Hearns) at him just for fun. And while I'm at it, maybe I'll continue with Williams vs. the 147 lb. SRL & 147lb. Roberto Duran.

    Hope a few of you can listen. Wish all of you could!

    -Randy G.

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    WalshB's posts actually get stranger by the day.

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    There is no one like Hearns that is currently fighting. Williams could not even play Hearns in he Hearns movie.

    Williams is a decent fighter, with an outstanding workrate, not much power, not much boxing skill. He is a AK-47. Just keep firing untill you hit something, not accurate, effective yes, but only after hours of firing and wasted rounds.


    Tommy was sniper rifle. One shot one Kill. Speed, range, accurate, deadly. KO Duran in 2.

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    Quote Originally Posted by Overhand_Right
    WalshB's posts actually get stranger by the day.
    Care to elaborate?

    Let's see. Williams is "bigger" than Tommy, Williams is, or COULD be, stronger than Tommy.

    Williams is extremely fit, has a great work rate and IF, Hearns doesn't KO him, he (Williams) could pose serious problems late in a fight.

    Williams chin "may well" be better than Tommy's; jury still out on this!

    Now, please, tell me what is strange or hard to decipher from this?

    I never said that Williams was a better boxer, tactician or that he hit harder.
    To all three, I think Tommy is ahead.

    If the two met, Hearns would be a favorite, but this is far from a gimme and I think
    Paul poses major issues and if Hearns is not at full capacity, he could be
    surprised

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    What I find difficult to decipher is your throwaway claim - presented initially as if it was a given - that Williams is bigger and stronger. He is clearly not bigger. The LH Hearns looked friggin enormous. Take a look at his shoulders. Stronger? Well you're just guessing and cant provide a slice of evidence to back this up. Williams is not someone who uses strength to impose his will as far as I can see.

    And if Tommy doesnt KO him, then maybe he boxes him which he managed to do, for example, with Benitez, Hill and SRL for long periods of the fight.
    Last edited by Paulie W; 07-02-2009 at 11:46 AM.

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    Quote Originally Posted by Paulie W
    What I find difficult to decipher is your throwaway claim - presented initially as if it was a given - that Williams is bigger and stronger. He is clearly not bigger. The LH Hearns looked friggin enormous. Take a look at his shoulders. Stronger? Well you're just guessing and cant provide a slice of evidence to back this up. Williams is not someone who uses strength to impose his will as far as I can see.

    And if Tommy doesnt KO him, then maybe he boxes him which he managed to do with Benitez, Hill and SRL for long periods of the fight.
    What?

    "If Paul has a top level chin, he beats Tommy at 147 and 154. He is a bigger guy and a stronger guy all over."

    My claim was concerning the WW or JM versions of the two men

    Sorry, maybe I didn't spell that out, but I obviously was not trying
    to say that a 147 lb Williams was bigger than a 175 lb Hearns.
    That's ludicrous. Both at WW, It looks to me that Paul is a bigger
    framed man.

    Now, Hearns could well outbox him over 12 or 15, I just think
    that Paul brings a pretty good game to the table. A game
    loaded with volume and stamina and decent pop.

    This isn't a walk in the park and styles make fights.
    Outpointing the smaller Duran and Benitez, is
    not like outpointing a man who is as big, if not bigger, and who
    is as strong, if not stronger, and who is IMO, busier and more
    hassle than both those two.

    Hearns always beats those guys because Duran was
    not a natural 154 lb man and Wilfred didn't have the
    power and strength to challenge Hearns
    Last edited by walshb; 07-02-2009 at 11:50 AM.

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    Well you see something different to me: the 147 Hearns looks just as big as Williams to me and the 175 Hearns shows the kind of 'frame' Tommy had - wide shoulders, strong arms, but skinny legs.

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    Quote Originally Posted by Paulie W
    Well you see something different to me: the 147 Hearns looks just as big as Williams to me and the 175 Hearns shows the kind of 'frame' Tommy had - wide shoulders, strong arms, but skinny legs.
    Paulie, I ask, what has 175 lbs got to do with this?

    Talk about stating the obvious. I know well that Hearns, whilst
    weighing 175 lbs, was bigger than Paul at 147 lbs.

    The precise difference is 28 lbs, or two stone.

    Hearns at 147 lbs is just as big as Paul at 147 lbs. I just think that
    overall frame and body, Paul is bigger.

    I am not saying he dwarfs Tommy, he doesn't; nobody did.

    I also happen to think that Paul's style and combination
    of size and versatility and stamina and volume could
    cause Hearns real issues late in a bout; especially at 147 lbs.

    At 154 lbs, I think Hearns was a stronger man, obviously
    the extra 7 lbs helps, but at 154 lbs I would be more
    confident that Hearns could do the trick
    Last edited by walshb; 07-02-2009 at 01:08 PM.

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    BTW, if anyone has Hearns' measurements from 1981? They did a fair few
    of his physical measurements for the Leonard bout and I have them
    in the Pictorial encyclopedia, not on me at the moment

    I'd like to see that and then maybe Williams measurements when he fought
    at WW.

    Paul is listed on boxrec at 73 inches tall, and on wikipedia at
    75 inches tall. I know it's hard to find an accurate definite, but to me,
    Paul looks an inch or two taller than Hearns
    Last edited by walshb; 07-02-2009 at 12:13 PM.

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    Folks may point to Tommy doin' a number on Ray in 1981 for so long.
    Can I ask? Would anyone expect Williams to be as cautious
    and 'lazy' for the first 4-5 rds, as Ray was?

    Williams is 180 secs of motion every rd. Ray really did take a
    bit to get going, and it appeared deliberate for a few rds.

    I think a fast and hard pace will cause big problems
    for Tommy. Hey, he could whack Paul out in a few rds, but
    what if he doesn't? He has to expect to fight every second of every
    rd. He didn't have to do this vs. Ray.

    Plus, he has no physical advantages over Paul, like he did vs. Ray.

    His reach and jab caused major problems for Ray.

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    The point of this thread is misguided. Who cares if Williams is actually a little taller or possibly stronger ... What the hell does that have to do with how good a fighter he ACTUALLY is?

    So for for me, my impression is decidedly mixed on Williams. Bottom line: Williams isn't even REMOTELY in Hearns class or level. Who in their right mind would bet on Williams against Hearns?

    Tommy either whacks him out early or out boxes him & wins a very clear unanimous decision.

    I don't understand how Williams can even be compared to Tommy. Look at their respective body of work & the comparison is ridiculous.

    GorDoom

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    Quote Originally Posted by GorDoom
    The point of this thread is misguided. Who cares if Williams is actually a little taller or possibly stronger ... What the hell does that have to do with how good a fighter he ACTUALLY is?

    So for for me, my impression is decidedly mixed on Williams. Bottom line: Williams isn't even REMOTELY in Hearns class or level. Who in their right mind would bet on Williams against Hearns?

    Tommy either whacks him out early or out boxes him & wins a very clear unanimous decision.

    I don't understand how Williams can even be compared to Tommy. Look at their respective body of work & the comparison is ridiculous.

    GorDoom
    The point about his size and strength are to debate how he and Tommy
    would match up at WW. Though Hearns would likely win, I don't see
    it as all that easy a fight. I think Wiliiams brings serious problems for
    Hearns at WW. Size and strength do play major roles in boxing and
    in this match, Hearns is the 'smaller' man. Yes, he is the better
    boxer and heavier hitter, but Paul has his 'advantages' too.

    Hey, I am thinking rocky111 may bet on Williams against Hearns
    at 147 lbs and rocky knows his stuff!

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    Quote Originally Posted by GorDoom

    I don't understand how Williams can even be compared to Tommy. Look at their respective body of work & the comparison is ridiculous.

    GorDoom
    Why bother posting the article then?
    It's a comparison article with a difference!

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    When I post an article it by no means, means that I agree or disagree with it's premise.. I post articles to give you guys something to read. The way I look at it we're a boxing board (& other interests) & I try to make it a little more diversified by posting all of the articles I do.

    This way we're not just a boxing forum we're also sort of a compendium boxing magazine with articles from all over the internet.

    Back to the premise: I'll give you an example of why I don't belive Williams would be that much trouble for Tommy: James Schuler. A real rising young middle with all the potential in the world. with size, power & skills. He's a fair comparison to Williams.

    Tommy whacked him out in 1.

    Yes, Schuler was a middle not a welter but Tommy was more vulnerable at middle than he was at welter. It took a perfomance by one of the greatest fighter's of all time to defeat him in his only loss at welter.

    & Paul Williams does not compare to Ray Leonard either.

    GorDoom

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    Quote Originally Posted by GorDoom

    & Paul Williams does not compare to Ray Leonard either.

    GorDoom
    True, he doesn't, and that is why styles do make for interesting fights.
    I have discussed how Ray went about their fight and how I don't believe
    Williams would be so 'lazy'. Williams will go about fighting Tommy a whole
    lot differently than Ray did.

    Ray beats Williams at any weight I feel. But, of the two, I would say Paul
    has the better chance to defeat a Hearns.

    So, styles and physical comparisons can make for differing encounters.
    You won't get much more different than a Leonard and a Williams, physically that is

    BTW, very good article and the writer does seem well impressed
    with Paul and does make the comparison well and the distinguishing
    difference well.

    I guess that is why I am a bit CURIOUS as to why
    some think I am off my rocker to suggest that Paul
    will be a real test for Tommy at WW
    Last edited by walshb; 07-02-2009 at 01:58 PM.

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    Gor

    Very Nice comparison with the 6 foot 1 inch James Shuler who was built like a brick shit house and had become the Top rated Middleweight after beating James Kinchen in his previous bout.

    Here's a question for the masses: ANyone want to guess how long Paul WIlliams stays at 147 if he had to make weight the day of the fight the way Tommy Hearns had to when he was a Welterweight?

    Anyone think that had Williams fought under those rules and conditions, and remained at 147, that he doesn't resemble Mark Breland much more so than he did a James Shuler?

    Williams has quite a bit to do before comparisons such as these start making the rounds. Not saying Williams might not one day merit being entered into such discussions....but at THIS juncture of his career?

    Hearns decisively with which ever style he chooses to employ.

    Hawk

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    Re: Paul Williams: A Lot Like Thomas Hearns But Definitely Different

    When I assess how the two would fare at 147 lbs, I'll allow both the 'luxury'
    of day before weigh ins. So, Tommy has a whole day to rehydrate, as
    does Paul. Same rule for both and still, Paul will be the slightly bigger on fight night
    I would imagine. This doesn't mean he wins. I still think that's
    a Hearns fight, but I just don't see it as a no brainer!

    I would love to see a breakdown of their welter measurements, just
    for a physical comparison. Both marvels physically.
    I always wondered how Hearns did 147 lbs, but looking at Paul, this
    is even more amazing!

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