Former WBO welterweight champion Paul “The Punisher” Williams (39-2, 27 KO’s) will return to the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City tonight eight months since his one-punch knockout defeat to Argentinean pound for pound middleweight king Sergio Martinez.
The 29 year-old was knocked out cold by the former WBC middleweight champion last November at the same venue and has kept a low profile since the devastating loss.
The Georgian is primed to get back in the ring against unbeaten Cuban Erislandy Lara and will be keen to show everyone that the defeat was just a lucky punch.
Williams had originally chosen to move back down to the welterweight limit for the contest after spending two years moving up the weight divisions, but has decided to come back at light-middleweight initially.
A rematch with Sergio Martinez has almost certainly been ruled out just on the fact that Williams is intent on moving down the weights, whereas ‘Maravilla’ is eyeing up some big fights at the 160lb limit with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in his sights.
Opponent Lara, 28, has a single draw on a sixteen-fight record and was drafted in after Nobihiro Ishida was rejected by HBO in May.
The southpaw will meet his toughest test by a long way when he squares up to Williams tonight, but knows a victory could put him in the top echelons of the 154lb division.