Bad Left Hook Staff Picks: Paul Williams vs Erislandy Lara

Scott Christ

This is just one of those fights where I have a feeling, or is it a hunch? I think Oscar de la Hoya is "undefeated" on "hunches," so maybe I should call it a hunch, because "feelings" mean you're wrong, or whatever. I don't like this fight for Paul Williams. Frankly I'm just not sure about Paul Williams in general anymore. If Williams isn't tentative, and if they've actually improved his massively leaky defense this time, I think he'll be too busy and too high-energy for Lara to deal with. But if this turns into a boxing match, Lara's better than Williams. Paul's habit of giving up his natural advantages in every fight he's ever been in worries me, and now that we've seen that chin not just dented or cracked but blown to bits, there's the worry he'll never be the same as he was, either. I'm going with Lara by KO. Williams may well be up on the cards and appearing to be on his way to victory, but he's going to leave himself wide open. He always has. There's a long scouting report on Paul Williams now, and I think Lara knows this is make or break for him. Lara in the eighth round.

Andrew Fruman

Lara probably matches up rather well stylistically with the lanky American.  He can fight effectively from the outside and he throws straight shots - the type that can trouble Williams, who can get loopy with his attack.  That said, I get the feeling Lara likes to fight at his own pace and not sure he'll cope all that well over the long haul with a non-stop swarming attack.  That brings us to the key question... after what happened against Sergio Martinez, will Williams bring the kind of high volume pressure he's famous for?  I have no idea, and not sure even Williams will really know until he gets in there and starts throwing. My pick: Lara in a close one that goes the full route.  115-113 type scores.  Maybe a split verdict.

Matt Miller

Compared to Rios-Antillion, I feel a bit more certainty with the HBO main event. Williams is too much of a step up for Lara, I'm guessing, and the usual tall Paul punch machine will reappear and outwork and outland Lara. This time, I see an aggressive Williams dressed to impress, actively looking for the KO, and getting it late in the fight from accumulated damage.

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