What happens when two of boxing’s most feared superstars are unable to find an opponent willing to step up and face them? They fight each other. On Saturday, April 11 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, former Junior Middleweight World Champion Winky Wright looks to stop the meteoric rise of two-division World Champion Paul ‘The Punisher’ Williams in a 12-round middleweight bout destined to land the winner on boxing’s best pound-for-pound list.
“I’m excited to see these two great fighters squaring off at Mandalay Bay on April 11,” said Oscar de la Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions. “It is an intriguing style matchup-wise and I know that both Winky and Paul are more determined than ever to deliver the type of performance that will thrill fight fans; and force even more of the big names at 160 pounds to fight them in order to get their just due.”
Dan Goossen, president of Goossen Tutor Promotions, said, “It’s an exciting time for our sport. Paul Williams, the ‘Most Feared Fighter in the World,’ against Winky Wright, the ‘Most Avoided Fighter in the World,’ showing the world that there are no challenges that won’t be accepted by real champions. This is the type of fight that will showcase Paul’s size, skills and champion’s will, which he’ll need against the man that has virtually beaten every world champion he has faced.”
Chris Lighty, CEO of Winky Promotions, stated, “I have to give credit to Paul for stepping up to the plate, it’s about time someone did. We’ve been dying to get Winky back in the ring and the time is now here. I’m glad we could make this happen. Paul may be younger but Wink definitely wants it more.”
Wright vs. Williams, is a 12-round middleweight bout presented by Golden Boy Promotions, Goossen Tutor Promotions and Winky Promotions, and sponsored by Southwest Airlines. The bout will air live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST.
Kery Davis, senior vice president of HBO Sports, said, “These are clearly two of the most avoided fighters in boxing over the last decade and for good reason – because they are two of the best. This should be a tremendous match-up of will and skill.”
The name of St. Petersburg, Florida’s Wright (51-4-1, 25 KOs) has represented excellence between the ropes for nearly two decades. A former Junior Middleweight World Champion who made nine successful defenses of his crown, Wright truly broke through on the world scene in 2004 with back-to-back wins over Sugar Shane Mosley. Not one to rest on his laurels, he moved up to middleweight in 2005 and defeated Puerto Rican superstar Felix ‘Tito’ Trinidad. Although he would later suffer a loss to Bernard Hopkins in 2007, the 37-year-old southpaw is rested, determined and hungrier than ever for his April 11 showdown with Williams.
Wright said, “It’s been a long time since I’ve been this motivated and I can’t wait until the bell rings. Paul is one of the top young fighters in the game, but he hasn’t seen what I’ve seen or done what I’ve done. This is my time to shine and I won’t let this young fighter steal my spotlight.”
Despite the fact that he’s only 27 years old, Augusta, Georgia’s Williams (36-1, 27 KOs) has done more in eight years in the pro ring than most have done in an entire career. Owner of world titles at welterweight and junior middleweight, Williams now is chasing after glory at middleweight. If his past wins over Antonio Margarito, Carlos Quintana, Sharmba Mitchell and Vernon Phillips are any indication, the 160-pound weight class had better watch out for ‘The Punisher.’
Williams said, “I am glad that the fight is on. This fight has got a big name. Wright has taken the titles from champions and I’d love to take his reputation. That would add to my legacy. All I know is that everyone says he has got a good defense and nice jab but that doesn’t matter to me – I’m going to get mine in. I’m gonna whoop him and get in there.”
Tickets priced at $300, $200, $150, $100 and $50 are now on sale and available at any Mandalay Bay box office outlet and all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (702) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mandalaybay.com or www.ticketmaster.com.