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Paul Williams moving up to move forward this Thursday

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Img_3720_20williams_20vs_20quintana_2001_3970_medium Paul Williams hasn't found it easy to locate opponents willing to take his challenges.

That's why the WBO welterweight titlist will take to the ring this Thursday night at middleweight to face Andy Kolle, live on the Versus Network.

Williams, 27, made his professional debut in 2000 weighing in at 156 pounds, and fought around 160 for his first 13 bouts. In late 2001, he got near the welterweight limit of 147 pounds, and he's stayed there ever since.

It was a 2007 win over Antonio Margarito that put Williams on the global boxing map for real -- he was already 32-0 and looked dangerous, but this cemented it. With his long, lanky frame, he would be trouble for any welterweight out there.

Carlos Quintana did upset him this February, but Williams avenged that loss with a first round TKO four months later. Having slayed the only man to ever beat him, Williams was back to calling himself the most avoided man in the sport, and with good reason in some respects.

He attempted to land a fight with middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik, but the money wasn't right. He called out Margarito when Margarito beat Miguel Cotto, and got little response from Margarito or Top Rank.

Now, with no suitable welters available, Williams will attempt to back promoter Dan Goossen's claim that his fighter is dangerous at any weight between 147 and 168.

Kolle, 26, is no stiff. Though he's hardly proven to be world-class just yet, his only loss came against Andre Ward back in 2006, and he gave Ward a pretty good test. Since that loss, he's 8-0 (5), bringing his career record up to 17-1 (12).

While you should certainly consider the more accomplished Williams the prohibitive favorite, I think there's something fairly notable to see this Thursday night. Williams is confident in his ability to be a world champion in four different weight classes. He's made waves at 147, and now he's going to give 160 a shot, though for the time being it's more stay busy in nature than anything else. Williams is slated to return on November 29 on HBO, defending his WBO title.

But if Kolle knocks him off, who knows what could happen? We've seen upsets this year, and we've seen Williams as the victim of one of them. Could it happen again?

Hey, this is boxing. You never know.