Paul Williams needs a win on Saturday to get back in the mix at 154 pounds.
Over at Boxing Channel (which if you don't keep up with, you should really start), Showtime boxing analysts Al Bernstein and Steve Farhood break down this weekend's pair of cards on Showtime, including Friday night's ShoBox featuring Thomas Dulorme and Jonathan Gonzalez (Michael Oliveira is off the show following his Saturday fight in Canada) and the Saturday night event from Corpus Christi featuring the return of Paul Williams in the main event.
Here's how Farhood and Bernstein break down Williams' fight with Nobuhiro Ishida:
Farhood: "This is a crossroads fight for Paul Williams, because we all know his last time out, he beat Erislandy Lara, but didn't really beat Erislandy Lara. It was probably among the three worst decisions of 2011. So Paul Williams has to reestablish himself. It wasn't that long ago where we were describing him as the one guy in boxing nobody wanted to fight, and that was at three weight classes: Welterweight, junior middleweight, and middleweight. And now he has to almost start again. And he's fighting a guy, Ishida, whose record does not suggest he's that tough, but he knocked out Kirkland in one round, so he's got some pop there, and he's a pretty fast fighter, fast-fisted. Very interesting matchup, very critical fight for Paul Williams."
Bernstein: "And we're gonna find out, I think, just what Paul Williams has in the tank at this point. The old cliche about being at a crossroads, it is a cliche, but in this case it's definitely true, because for Paul Williams a good performance is almost a must to keep his name in the hopper, in a division now, 154 pounds, where there are all kinds of good fighters. We did a fight on ShoBox where Austin Trout defended his title, an American who I think merits a big fight as well."
Farhood: "With Paul Williams, there are a million matchups we can talk about. Again, he has that ability to jump weight classes. Maybe Sergio Martinez told him middleweight isn't too good an idea. I don't know. 154 is probably where Paul Williams belongs, because he has that big physical advantage, he's so tall. But there are loads of good fights. That's sort of an emerging division right now. Adding Paul Williams to the mix would be fantastic."
Bernstein: "Ixnay on the middleweight stuff for Paul Williams."
Bernstein and Farhood also discuss Tavoris Cloud's light heavyweight title defense against Gabriel Campillo, and as mentioned before, the ShoBox card on Friday.