WBO welterweight titlist Paul Williams wasted little time in his middleweight test against Andy Kolle tonight, crushing the Minnesota fighter in the first round with long left hands, and scoring his 26th career knockout on Versus.
Williams (35-1, 26 KO) is now slated to defend his title at 147 pounds on November 29th on HBO, pairing again with heavyweight Chris Arreola, who came in overweight and highly out of shape against 38-year old Israel Garcia, but had no trouble putting him away in the third.
Williams' middleweight "debut" (he's fought at the weight before, but this was the first time he's done so in years) saw him just completely outclass Kolle, a game fighter who once gave Andre Ward a fine test. The way his body looked, more filled out with the 11 extra pounds he weighed in with, I think Williams could step up to middleweight and give anyone a fight. His reach is ridiculous, that of a heavyweight, and he could be a stylistic problem there almost as much as he is at welter. He's not freakishly tall at 160, but he's still monstrously long.
For now, he'll move back to welterweight. But if this is any indication, he and promoter Dan Goossen are right -- he can move up easily if he wants to. Whether or not he finds quality opponents easier to come by is another question.