Former welterweight titlist Paul Williams stepped up to middleweight for a serious test, and won the fight going away, outpointing veteran Winky Wright by scores of 120-108, 119-109 and 119-109. My official BLH scorecard had it 116-112 for Williams, and while all the BLH commenters scoring along had it within the same range, two things were sure: None of us agreed on it being 11-1 or 12-0 for Paul, but we all felt Paul Williams won the fight for sure.
Williams (37-1, 26 KO) now might look to go back to 147 to fight Shane Mosley, who is out of the Mayweather sweepstakes and has no "next opponent" clearly lined up as he waits on the results of Hatton-Pacquiao and Cotto-Clottey.
For Wright (51-5-1, 25 KO) this is something of a step back, and he got beat up a bit, but the fight was lost partially, I feel, on ring rust. There were moments in the middle rounds where it looked like he had weathered Williams' insane volume punching and had turned the fight his way. But the problem was Williams just didn't stop punching. A younger, more in-shape Wright may have found a way out of that. He also may not have. But there is no reason to call for a Winky Wright retirement. At 37, he can still give a lot of guys serious problems, and I mean top-flight guys like Pavlik or Abraham.
On the undercard, Chris Arreola improved to 27-0 with his 24th knockout, a fourth-round stoppage of big vet Jameel McCline (39-10-3, 23 KO). McCline gassed very early, and Arreola seemed to be tiring a bit, too, but then Chris floored him and that was it. McCline showed no desire to continue on. It is possible we've seen McCline for the final time, but someone will undoubtedly make him an offer again to fight a young gun. All things considered, there are worse vets to fight than McCline for young heavies.