The Wait Is Over For Paul "The Punisher" Williams

Brian O. BlakeCorrespondent IDecember 5, 2009

LAS VEGAS - APRIL 11:  Paul Williams celebrates his unanimous-decision victory over Winky Wright in their middleweight bout at the Mandalay Bay Events Center April 11, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The second half of 2009 has been increasingly frustrating for 'the most feared fighter in boxing', Paul "The Punisher" Williams.

Back in April, Williams (37-1, 27 KOs) jumped back up to the middleweight division where he would go on to unanimously outpoint Winky Wright over the course of 12 rounds.  Things were looking sterling for Williams as he would soon find himself all set for a crack at Wold Middleweight Champion Kelly Pavlik.

Lingering hand injuries for Pavlik led to multiple postponements and cancellations leaving Williams and his team in need of a worthy opponent for his December 5th HBO television spot. Fights with welterweight sluggers Shane Mosley and Josh Clottey were talked about, but ultimately never came to fruition.

Enter WBC jr. middleweight king Sergio Martinez (44-1-2,24 KOs) of Argentina.

Coming off of an impressive victory over Alex Bunema, followed by a highly controversial draw with Kermit Cintron, both of which were televised on HBO, Martinez was ready to get back in the spotlight and took the fight on just a months notice.

Williams, who often draws comparisons to Henry Armstrong for his ability to compete in multiple weight classes, will not drop down in weight to vie for Martinez's junior middleweight crown, and will instead face him in a middleweight bout.

It isn't as glamorous as fighting for the World Middleweight Championship, but it's a stiff test nonetheless.

Any fighter across the ring from Martinez is in for a rough night.  Factor in that Williams spent several months preparing for a much different fighter in Pavlik and it's clear that "The Punisher" faces a very difficult task on Saturday night.

In short, it's not quite the high-profile fight he had anticipated, and it could be argued that Martinez presents more of a conundrum to Williams than Pavlik would have.

Neither of which matters much to "The Punisher."  He'll see his share of high-profile fights and he's endured arduous tasks throughout his career.

He's just glad the wait is over.

Questions and comments can be sent to