Just a day after Johnny Tapia’s life came to an early end, tragedy struck again in the boxing community.
Former WBO welterweight champion, Paul “The Punisher” Williams, was in a devastating motorcycle accident during the early hours on May 28 that will likely leave him paralyzed from the waist down.
According to his manager (George Peterson), Williams was trying to avoid a collision with another vehicle, but he ended up getting thrown off his bike. He has been stabilized, and he’s expected to undergo surgery on May 30 to protect the healthy upper half of his spine.
The 30 year old was currently scheduled to face undefeated Saul Alvarez on Sept. 15, a fight that would have given him the opportunity to reestablish himself as one of the top fighters around. Given how severe, Williams’ injuries are, he probably won’t be able to fight anymore, bringing an end to his promising boxing career.
Once upon a time, Williams was considered to be one of the top ten pound-for-pound fighters in the world, with wins over well-respected fighters like Sergio Martinez and Ronald “Winky” Wright. He did suffer a devastating knockout in his second fight against Martinez, prompting some to question how much fight he still had inside him.
When he signed his contract to fight Alvarez a week ago, Williams was given a golden opportunity, since a win over a highly touted up and comer like “Canelo” would have put him back in the mix.
With a professional boxing record of 41-2-0, Williams should be proud of his accomplishments inside the ring. Despite the many tough battles Paul Williams had had to fight over the years, fate has dealt him a tough set of cards, and he’s now in for the toughest fight of his entire life. I wish him and his family all the best, and I hope he has a miraculous recovery.
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.