Two ranked jr.middleweights have added their names to the list of possible opponents for Paul Williams’ July 9 return to HBO. Williams is coming off a brutal one-punch knockout loss to Sergio Martinez in a November bid for the middleweight title.
Cuban exile, Erislandy Lara (15-0-1, 10 KOs) recently expressed to Boxingscene.com, his desire to face the former welterweight and jr. middleweight belt holder. Coming off a disappointing draw to Carlos Molina on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights, Lara wants to prove that he’s right up there with the best of the 154 lb. class.
“If Williams accepts my challenge,” Lara said, “I will finish where [Sergio] Martinez left off. After I’m done with him, there won’t be any further returns because I’ll end his career.”
Another fighter throwing his hat into the ring is St. Louis native, Deandre Latimore (22-3, 17 KOs), who is 1-1 with fellow contender, Sechew Powell and, also, holds a decision loss to Cory Spinks.
“I will knockout Paul Williams,” Latimore said in a recent press release. “I take nothing away from him. He’s still one of the best fighters in the world, but I’m near my prime and still getting better every day. Williams says he is the most avoided fighter in boxing. Well, I’m not avoiding him, and he needs to put up or shut up.”
Williams is a two-division former titlist with wins over Antonio Margarito, Winky Wright, Verno Phillips, and Kermit Cintron. He has also gone 1-1 with both Sergio Martinez and Carlos Quintana.
— Paul Magno