Paul "The Punisher" Williams has defeated Verno Phillips by TKO in the eighth round. This is his second fight at middleweight since 2002, and he has two knockouts with only a total of nine rounds between both opponents.
Williams is now the interim WBO light middleweight champion, and in need of a big fight running into the same problem he faced in the welterweight division.
Williams and his trainer claimed nobody would fight him in the welterweight division. In two of his last three fights he showed why.
He beat Antonio Margarito for the WBO welterweight title and defeated Carlos Quintana in a devastating one-round knockout in their rematch. The rematch that Carlos won by unanimous decision, winning back the WBO title he had lost.
He chased Kermit Cintron and had a failed attempt to get a fight with Miguel Cotto because of the Margarito–Cotto fight. Williams decided to vacate his WBO welterweight title, and pursue bigger opponents, but who?
Here are a few fighters I think would be good matchup:
1. Vernon Forrest (41-3)
Forrest is another fighter that proclaims that no one will fight him coming up in the same era as Oscar De La Hoya, Trinadad, and Suger Shane Mosley.
It was hard to find the spotlight for Forrest until he defeated the one fighter that gave him the shot, Shane Mosley, and doing it not once, but twice.
2. Cory Spinks (36-5)
Corey lost his title to Verno Phillips that was vacated by ex-champion Phillips to fight Paul Williams. This left Spinks in line to regain his title, and would give Williams the chance to gain the actual title and not the interim.
3. Sergiy Dzinziruk (36-0)
Ranked third, Jr. middleweight Sergiy Dzinziruk just won a mandatory fight over my number four pick, Joel Julio. A fight against Sergiy Dzinziruk would be a great test for Paul Williams and would give him a chance at the WBO Jr middleweight title.
4. Joel Julio (34-2)
In my opinion, Joel Julio is one of the best 154-pound fighters today with punching power in both hands. His latest defeat came from a fight he shouldn't have been a part of.
His first defeat came from Carlos Quintana in the welterweight division, which Joel seemed to lose steam in the later rounds. After the Quintana fight, Joel moved up to the Jr. middleweight division where the weight was more natural for him.
5. Sergio Mora (21-1-1)
Sergio, most famous for winning the reality show Contender, wouldn't usually be a part of my list but he did win the WBO title from Vernon Forrest. Although Forrest looked far from impressive and Sergio Mora lost in a dominating fashion in the rematch, he is still ranked in the top 10.
There are a couple of fighters that I didn't mention such as Oscar De La Hoya because he will probably be retiring or looking to fight Ricky Hatton or Margarito to stop rumors that he's scared to face him.
Winky Wright is looking to fight in the middleweight division and wants to face Kelly Pavlik, Athur Abarham, or even Felix Sterm for a title shot. And those three are looking for unification bouts that they can't negotiate on.
So whom ever the next opponent might be I'm sure that Paul Williams will be ready to keep proving his name the Punisher isn't just a name. But any one of the five fighters I named can be a showstopper, and would make for good fights in my opinion.