Paul Williams and Sergio Martinez are officially set to fight again on November 20th of this year. This is a fight that was on and off about 100 times so it is good to see it is finally set in stone.
The fight will be aired live by HBO and will take place in Atlantic City at Boardwalk Hall. The fight will be for Martinez’s middleweight title, but it will be fought at a catchweight of 157 pounds.
Now that the fight is set, the question is, what now? Will we get another Fight of The Year candidate like we did in 2009 or will we see a totally different fight?
The careers of these two men have gone different directions since their first fight. Williams has lost some luster after a abbreviated win over Kermit Cintron.
Martinez, on the other hand, is the toast of the boxing world after he beat a much bigger Kelly Pavlik in Boardwalk Hall to become the WBC, WBO, and Ring middleweight champion.
You can argue that Martinez has been one of the hottest fighters in boxing since he made his American splash in late 2008. He has gone 2-1-1 and won titles in two divisions in that span.
Williams' career isn't on life support, but he hasn’t been as impressive or lived up to the hype. He has gone 6-1 since 2008, but two of those wins can be disputed.
The Martinez win wasn’t clear cut and he got a win over Cintron after he fell out of the ring in the fourth round. That win is highly disputed and many thought that he clearly lost.
He didn’t dominate Carlos Quintana (KO 1) or old veterans Winky Wright and Verno Phillips. All good wins, but nothing great.
We clearly have two boxers going in different directions at this point. Martinez is getting better every time out while Williams seems to be holding on and just getting by.
Williams made this fight much harder than it should have been last time. He has a six-inch reach advantage, but didn’t use it at all in their first fight.
He made it an inside fight, letting Martinez get into range and get comfortable. If he stays on the outside, he can use his jab to regulate the fight and win easily.
He also has the power advantage. Martinez isn’t feather-fisted and Williams found that out in the first fight, but Williams has more power and can use that to his advantage.
Martinez keeps his hands low and Williams can take advantage of that by hitting him hard and clean from the outside before Martinez can ever thinking about punching.
Martinez had the speed advantage then and will still have it now. If he can get into a rhythm and use his speed and footwork, it will be a long night for Williams.
In my opinion, Williams has to change his game plan while Martinez needs to do what he did in the first fight. If anything, this fight should be easier for him.
This should be a compelling fight yet again and should bring us some good action. The question is always going to be, who is going to make more changes?
We won't know until fight night and it will be interesting to see who makes the changes and how. Either way, we should be in for yet another treat at the famous Boardwalk Hall.
This was originally written for and published on www.kissingthecanvas.com.