THE re-emergence of Paul Williams (10st 13 ½lbs) Aiken, South Carolina, took eight months, just enough time for old Mr. Rust to saturate his skinny frame. Or is it that “The Punisher” has been punished himself just enough to impede his rebirth? Williams, 30 later this month, was made to look average in a bout that went the full 12 rounds (nothing at stake but pride).
But by the evening’s close the judges decided that even an ordinary Williams had done just enough to pull out a majority decision over Cuban Erislandy Lara (10st 13lbs), now living in Miami. Bad call? Most in attendance thought so. Official cards were 114-114 from Al Bennet, 115-114 from Hilton Whitaker and 116-114 from Don Givens. My card had Lara up 115-113.
For Lara, a fellow southpaw the employment if his own version of a Sergio Martinez approach – less the knockout right hook- played out effectively, but not alas in the eyes of ones who counted. Perhaps they looked at the busyness of imposing Williams. Yes, he did push the action, and yes, he did throw many more punches- BUT he was getting hit flush in the return by the more accurate shots of Lara especially the left hand.
In a classic retort to the scoring, Lara echoed the losers lament of: “I don’t know what the judges saw.”
As for the official winner, he kind of contradicted himself, saying at first “I was being lazy in there but no excuses”, later he would say “bottom line is, I outworked him.”
Yes, he may of outworked his opponent, but his work was shoddy in comparison to the more deliberate Lara. Williams moves to 40-2 (27), while the snake-bitten Lara drops his first falling to 15-1-1 (10). The referee was Sammy Viruet.