Boxing


Paul Williams, Andy Kolle Interview Transcript

DAN GOOSSEN: My gratitude goes out to Versus Network and the Soboba Casino for making this all possible. This is our first fight on Versus and we're really looking forward to providing a great event. We are equally ecstatic that we could have such high‑profile fighters on the event. I know it's the biggest event that Versus has had on their network, and that includes the one bout with Ricky Hatton..

Soboba Casino has been a big supporter of boxing for the last seven years with us, and this is one event they really we're very excited to move forward on. I have known Bobby Salgado, the Tribal Chairman at Soboba Casino for many years. He is a huge Cristobal Arreola fan and boxing fan and he goes back to the days of Jerry Quarry and all the great boxers from the old Olympic Auditorium.

We're really looking forward to the event. The two fighters we have on the call now most everyone knows… Paul Williams is the man that tracked down Antonio Margarito when Margarito was the WBO Welterweight Champion and beat him at the sold out Home Depot Center on July 14th, a year ago.

He subsequently lost and regained his welterweight championship by impressive fashion within a four month period. A fighter that has been compared to Hall of Famer, Tommy Hearns, because of his size and being able to fight in the 147‑pound division. Paul is now looking to add to his resume from the standpoint of simultaneously fight within the 147‑pound to 168‑pound division, as requested by Paul.

Originally we were looking only from 147 to 160, and Paul added that he believes any good challenges that can be made for him up to 168 pounds is on the table.

I want to make it perfectly clear to everyone, and to quell the rumors that Paul cannot make 147 pounds any longer is incorrect. He and his trainer, George Peterson, are also on the phone call and both will confirm to everyone that Paul can and still will make 147 pounds, and that he doesn’t want to give up his WBO 147‑pound title.

The challenger for Paul, Andy "Chaos" Kolle, is also on the line with us. A natural middleweight and someone that, believe me, is a very hungry fighter. Kolle believes that he's in this fight and can give Paul Williams a type of challenge where he'll send him back to the 147‑pound division for good.

Like Williams, Kolle stands at 6' 1", with arms very close to Paul's size. His record of 17 wins and 12 KO's, shows that he hits with power. Before we get to Paul and George Peterson, Paul’s trainer, we also have on the line with Andy, his manager and trainer, Chuck Horton.

I'll let Andy open it up by saying a few words, and then we'll send it over to Paul, and let the media ask their questions.

ANDY KOLLE: Thanks a lot. I just want to thank everybody for giving me this shot. It's a shot I've been looking for my whole career. Just come out there and fight a legitimate world champion.

I have a lot of respect for Paul Williams. I think he's a great fighter. I believe though it's my time. My opportunity and my time to shine. I can't let this opportunity pass, and I believe I will be victorious.

I would have never taken this fight as an opponent. I took it because I legitimately believe I can win this fight.

DAN GOOSSEN: Chuck, do you have anything to add to that?

CHUCK HORTON: No, but we've been looking at Paul Williams for a long time. Just a couple of things... Thanks for having us on this show and everything. We've both got a lot of respect for him as a fighter. We were in town with Margarito when Paul was able to beat Antonio. We have much respect for both fighters. Antonio and Paul.

And Andy stayed out in camp, and that camp's a tough camp, and we were out there the whole time. So that should tell you about Andy Kolle right there.

We've been really training hard for this fight. We're just excited to get in the ring and to show everybody how good a fighter Andy Kolle is.

DAN GOOSSEN: Now I've got to compliment both of you, because I believe that the most feared man in boxing today is Paul Williams and as we all know, there have been very few fighters that have been willing to take up the challenge with Paul from 147 pounds through 168 pounds. So my hat is off to you for giving it your best shot in your belief of upsetting Paul’s plans.

Now let me introduce the most feared man not only in the welterweight division, but in all of boxing, the hard working punisher himself, Paul “The Punisher” Williams, the WBO welterweight champion. Paul?

PAUL WILLIAMS: Hi, everybody. You know, I'm just excited to be in the ring. I’ll be bringing everything I have into the ring. I always perform at my fullest level. I'm not taking anything lightly, you know what I'm saying?

I'm glad for the opportunity again to get back in the ring on the 25th. I'm facing a bigger guy. But it's no thing. I've been in with bigger guys all my life. I'm smaller, so I'm taking Andy very seriously, because I know if you take somebody lightly they can get you up out of there.

I'm looking forward to getting out there on the 25th, and having a good night. I'm pretty sure he's looking to upset me, but I'm not looking to be upset again. I'm training hard. I'm just ready to get in the ring and take on everybody in different weight classes.

DAN GOOSSEN: I'm going to bring up Mr. George Peterson for a few words, and then we'll send it to the media. George?

GEORGE PETERSON: We're excited about this opportunity, of course. Paul wanted to make a statement in the various weight classes. His whole objective is a clean 147‑pound division, and move up through the various weight classes. So that's going to be his approach to it.

This was an opening and Andy is a nice opponent for us. So we're looking for it. I'm sure it's going to be a good fight. Paul has not fought anybody his size and his reach. So we're looking for an outstanding fight that night. We'll be present and the crowd will be pleased with it.

Q. Paul, I know you're glad to be getting back into the ring. I know how tough it's been for you guys to get anybody to step up to the plate. So when I ask you this first question please don't anybody take any offense to this. Paul, I saw you about a month ago, you looked at a bunch of us at the table and you said that you only wanted to fight big names from now on. That you have deserved and you have earned that. You felt if you didn't that you might be kind of taking a step backwards in your career. Based on that, how does that fit in with this fight? Are you disappointed that, again, not to disrespect Mr. Kolle, but are you disappointed that you're not fighting a big name right now after everything that you've accomplished?

PAUL WILLIAMS: No, I'm not upset I'm not fighting a big name. Because I'm moving up in weight. The big guys, and the big names and the big weights, they didn't want it. So we're still looking for bigger guys.

Hey, we'll take Andy. He's a worthy opponent. He'll get in there and get it on. I'm still fighting 147, too. But you know what guys? Bottom line is, the guys with the big names didn't want it. So we're not going to sit around and wait for them and say, okay, we'll fight them when they’re ready. No, we're going to keep moving.

Q. Dan, I know that Mr. Kolle is a more than adequate fighter. So if you listen, Mr. Kolle, don't take any disrespect. But Dan, I know how hard you tried to make the Margarito fight. We all know why that didn't happen, it wasn't on you guys. What other fighters did you try to get for Paul who turned you guys down?

DAN GOOSSEN: You could really go down the list of welterweights, super welterweights, and up. But I think the statement that's being made here is two‑fold. One is that Paul understands that the pool of fighters willing to fight him is very limited. He’s not the most feared man in boxing for nothing. So rather than sitting back and peeling off two or three HBO dates a year, we're looking to keep Paul busy and to create opportunities.

The fight with Kolle will answer some questions and hopefully open up new opportunities. People are going to see how does Paul handle a fighter that's naturally bigger such as Andy Kolle, which would have been the same questions that would have been asked if he had fought Pavlik. We've got all the confidence in the world in Paul Williams and when you see Kolle fight, you'll be able to see he would give any middleweight a run for his money. Andy comes to fight, and doesn’t have an ounce of quit in him. He's a real fighter and one picked for a purpose, which is to show that Paul Williams is serious moving up and down in weight for specific challenges.

So these questions people may have will be answered next Thursday, but more importantly, it will open up a whole new opportunity for Paul and to the fans and also give other fighters the opportunity to fight Paul outside the welterweight division.

Paul doesn't want to give up that WBO title. But keeping his 147 WBO title, while winning a title in the 154‑pound division, 160‑pound division, 168‑pound division, will make history since it hasn't been done in this modern era.

You've had fighters that have gone up in weight like Shane Mosely and Floyd Mayweather, but Shane went from 147 to 154 after a loss at 147. Floyd, has successfully campaigned at various weights, but never to the extent of doing the various weights simultaneously, which is what Paul wants to accomplish. Very few have done it to the extreme that Paul and George are willing to do it on.

Now to get a little more specific with your question, Collazo, Judah, Mosely, Margariito, Baldomir, you name it, we asked. It never came down to a matter of money. It was a matter of they just didn't want to get into the ring with Paul. Who blames them, right?

Q. Andy, you've been on a nice little run since the fight against Ward. I believe you're 8‑0, 7‑0 since then. What have you learned from that fight against Ward that, you know, has allowed you to go on this round, number one, and to deal with Andre's speed, will that help you against Paul next week?

ANDY KOLLE: Yeah, well I learned a lot. First of all, stepping the foot on the big stage for the first time in my career at 9‑0 whatever I was at the time. That was a big step for me to come out there. I had never seen a fighter of the caliber of Andre; the speed and everything that he brought to the ring. So to just get that experience was really nice.

Now that I've been there now, I know it's nothing. It's the same old fight. You've still got to go out there and once that bell rings, it's just me and Paul. I don't have to worry about the cameras and the lights.

But as far as dealing with the speed, it was a different thing. I had to go looking for Andre. He was always running around. I had to go find him. But with Paul, he'll be there, ready to fight. We'll stand in the middle of the ring and go at it.

Q. If you win this fight next week, obviously, everything's going to change for you. Have you thought about the day after, September 26th, and how life will change for you?

ANDY KOLLE: No, not at all, actually. I just think about the fight at hand. I've got a big fight on my hands and I'm not going to look past it. Don't count your chickens before they hatch. You want to go out there and make sure you have the focus on the fight and not worry about the glory that's coming afterwards?

Q. George, Paul's been in this kind of situation before where he was fighting a guy in Quintana, he was expected to beat, but he wound up losing the fight. How do you keep him focused to where history doesn't repeat itself next week?

GEORGE PETERSON: Well, that happens, first of all. Paul was focused. That particular night he just couldn't get in his rhythm, couldn't get going, and occasionally it happens. Doesn't happen that often, but you'll find from time to time fighters will fall in that mode. That particular night he fell in that mode.

We were convinced that Quintana had no business being in the same ring as Paul Williams. We were definitely convinced of that. And the outcome of the second fight, we knew where he was going to be in every inch of that ring. That's why it was so easy for Paul. Paul executed that night, which he didn't do the first night.

So it's about execution. No one is able to handle this guy with his talent, with his speed, and with his ring knowledge and generalship in the ring, even from 147 to 160.

As a result of that, you know, he's confident that he's going to be victorious. It's going to be a really good fight. It's not going to be like baking pies, because Andy is a good fighter. No disrespect to him, but we are prepared to do whatever is necessary to win.

Q. Dan, what are the difficulties in promoting a guy no one wants to fight?

DAN GOOSSEN: Well, quite frankly, I like it. Because if I get a fighter everyone wants to fight, he's not going to be around long. So it's exciting, especially when you have a fighter that can move around from weight division to weight division. It makes it that much more pleasurable and unusual. This alone can be history in the making.

I'm not concerned about it because Paul has the size to do it. The reason most fighters turn down the chance to fight Paul is because he is feared. It’s not based upon money because Paul generates money for his challengers. If that wasn’t the case, we wouldn’t have been able to offer Margarito a $4 million plus guarantee. It boils down to being the most feared fighter in the world. Paul’s time will come where no one will be able to turn down a fight with him.

We just need to do what we’re doing now. …Fighting September 25th on Versus and winning and looking for our next immediate big fight.

Q. Paul, does all of this talk about Margarito and Pavlik and all these other guys ‑‑ on September 25th, you have a young fighter with a chance to make a name for himself, Andy Kolle in front of you. How are you making sure that you're not going to overlook him? You're going to really focus on this one fighter?

PAUL WILLIAMS: I never overlook anybody. I'm the one that's the underdog. I keep motivated. Like, okay, this guy's the man. I've got to come get him so I can be the man again. That's how I look at it.

All those other guys are not even on my mind. I could care less about Margarito, Cotto or whoever else is in the 147‑pound division right now. My main thing is to get focused on the 25th for Andy. That is my main focus right there.

If something doesn't go my way in the ring, what do I got to do to overcome that in the ring, you know?

Q. What do you expect to happen now that you're fighting this fight at middleweight against a fighter who is naturally at middleweight when you've been fighting at welterweight. How do you think that's going to effect you? You don't have as much weight to lose, but you're fighting a bigger man?

PAUL WILLIAMS: You know, he's bringing his awesome to the ring, I'm going to bring mine to the ring, it will be a big explosion in the ring. That's for him to come and try to gain some respect.

That's his weight class. I'm coming to his weight class, so he feels like he's the man in that weight. So I've got to earn his respect, you know what I'm saying? I've got to make him earn my respect. If I get in the ring with him, we're going to have to duke it out.

Q. Andy, this is a chance for you to really put yourself on the map. Tell us why you think you can win this fight against Paul Williams?

ANDY KOLLE: I've just seen a lot of his fights, watched a lot of his fights. I've seen he's always been the taller man in the ring. It's not so much the weight or anything. But he's always been the taller man. I feel we're closer to the height. I feel I've got the tools. I see the opening in his offense that leaves him wide open for some shots, and I think I can capitalize on it.

Q. Did you see his two fights with Quintana, and any comments on what you saw from those most recent fights that you could benefit from?

ANDY KOLLE: I've watched the fights. I've seen most of the fights. The Quintana fight I didn't pay too much attention to it, because Carlos Quintana is a different fighter than me for one thing.

And that first fight, that didn't look like Paul to me. Not the Paul I've seen in other fights. So I went back to some of the earlier fights that he won, knowing what he's going to do when he's winning. Like in his first fight against Quintana, it didn't look like Paul. The second fight went so quick, it was hard to learn anything off of it.

But Quintana's a different fighter than I am, so it's going to be a different fight?

Q. Did you watch his fight with Margarito?

ANDY KOLLE: I did watch it.

Q. Any comments you saw that you can benefit from? Obviously, Margarito's a different fighter as well, but anything can you benefit from that?

ANDY KOLLE: You said it best right there. Margarito's a completely different style of fighter than me. He's got the straight coming forward, throwing hooks all day.

That fight wasn't much to watch. Just the way Paul move around the ring and control the ring, I watch that a little bit and show how he had the ring generalship. That's about as far as I went with the Margarito fight.

Q. Do either of you want to make a prediction for the fight, Paul?

PAUL WILLIAMS: You know, I'm going in there to win. That is the only prediction I can make. It's like any other fighter I'm going to get in the ring with, they think they're going to win the fight. But I'm going to win.

Q. Do you want to make a prediction?

ANDY KOLLE: I'm in the same boat. I'm not going to make a prediction. I just know I'm coming to this fight to win it, and I plan on coming out victorious.

Q. Paul, can you tell me a little bit about how you made this decision to offer to go up in weight, and possibly down as well? Where that came from, why and what you think about that?

PAUL WILLIAMS: Mostly it wasn't just my reasoning, it came from me and Mr. Peterson's idea. We were looking to fight a big name. We were looking to fight Pavlik, but that fell out. So you know, it wasn't about Pavlik, he's in a different weight, you know what I'm saying?

But we're not vacating the 147. You know, we'll fight anybody in there. If we can't get any big fights at 147, we're like let's go the other way. What other weight classes can I make? That's how that fight came about.

Q. Dan, your thoughts on that as well?

DAN GOOSSEN: It's what I said earlier. Paul's the best in the 147‑pound division, and willing to become the best going all the way up to 168 pounds. I'm looking forward to September 25th and his middleweight coming out party.

As George said, it's not anything that we can look past with Kolle. He’s tough and Paul will have to be on top of his game to beat him. So with a victory September 25th ithere is no doubt that his next bout will be down in weight. I know Andy's going to try to do everything in his power to change those plans, though.

Q. Paul, is your training in Puerto Rico again? Is that where you're training?

PAUL WILLIAMS: No, we're in D.C. I don't want to get cold. Go to Puerto Rico and I'll get cold.

Q. Are you currently sparring with middleweights right now?

PAUL WILLIAMS: I'm sparring with everybody in the gym. Lightweights, middleweights, it doesn't matter. Anyone will work. George, Kolle, Chuck, you want to have any last comments?

ANDY KOLLE: No, just looking forward to Thursday night. I'll see you out there.

DAN GOOSSEN: Paul?

PAUL WILLIAMS: I just feel like I always do, you know. It's going to be a big fight. So the fans can really enjoy it.

DAN GOOSSEN: I appreciate you both taking time out of your training today. George, make sure you get rid of my picture off that heavy bag.

GEORGE PETERSON: Okay. (Laughing).

Q. Dan, I know one of the big superstars you had back in the day was Michael Nunn. How does Paul Williams rank up some of the great fighters that you've had?

DAN GOOSSEN: I think it's a combination of having the three best young fighters in the world today. At the head of the class is Paul Williams, and then Cristobal Arreola, who we're going to hear from, shortly and our Olympic Gold Medalist Andre Ward.

Paul is very similar to a Michael Nunn because of his size and his ability not only to box, but to knock you out with that one single punch as he displayed with Quintana.

Come next Thursday, I believe the fans and media will see that Paul's just getting better and better with each fight: Not only physically, but more importantly, mentally. He’s done it the old fashioned way, fighting anybody and everybody. It's all clicking now. So I feel we’re going to see the best Paul Williams next Thursday and see his continual climb to history.

I believe greatness is written all over him. That's why many fighters don't want to step into the ring with him. He will become a very big star in our sport. Just keep on watching.

Q. Paul, very few champions are doing what you're doing, actually fighting outside of the HBO or Showtime tent for this fight. In the older days, not going back that far, but they have exposed themselves in outlets like network TV. How important is this for you to fight on a network that might have more of a viewing audience? Because it's not a pay service like an HBO or a Showtime?

PAUL WILLIAMS: I don't look at it like that. I look at it that it's just me. That's my main thing. I don't worry about the stuff, the crowd, the TVs. None of that. My main focus is to go out there and perform. I want to look good against my opponent. I'm just going to do what I'm supposed to do.

Q. Dan, is it important that nowadays, fighters and champions fight on networks? I mean, everybody now has to fight on pay‑per‑view telecasts or HBO or Showtime. A lot of fans don't have those outlets.

DAN GOOSSEN: Santos, you really did hit the nail on the head. It's very much what George Peterson, Al Haymon, and myself have been talking about with Paul and Cristobal. And that is to get them out on other mediums where more fans have the opportunity to see these young men fight.

I mean, they're exciting fighters. There are 75 million plus homes on Versus, and it's a great network to showcase the fighters of this caliber. We want to build up the fighter and build up the audience for all.

As you mentioned with HBO and Showtime, along with pay‑per‑view, at times can be very limiting to a fighter’s growth. But this is good to keep premium fighters in front of a growing audience and something that we want to continue working on.

I believe all of us, Paul, George and Al with our forward thinking of understanding that the more people that see Paul and Cristobal and the more often they see them, the more fans they're going to attract and build.

Article posted on 17.09.2008



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