Exclusive Interview With Trainer George Peterson - "Paul Williams Would Love A Fight With Manny Pacquiao"
by James Slater, photo by Peter Mark Heintzelman -- Ahead of his fighter Paul "The Punisher" Williams' December 5th middleweight fight with 34-year-old fellow southpaw Sergio Martinez, 44-1-2(24), trainer George Peterson very kindly gave me the following interview yesterday evening (UK time).
Article posted on 23.11.2009
Speaking about the fight his 28-year-old warrior, 37-1(27) will have in Atlantic City, his thoughts on a possible Williams-Manny Pacquiao fight and other things, George gave me the following answers to my questions:
James Slater: It's great to speak with you again, Sir. First of all, how has camp been going for the Sergio Martinez fight?
George Peterson: Camp has been great. We've had a pretty short camp to get ready for a lefthander, but other than that it's been great..
J.S: And who has Paul been sparring with?
G.P: He's been working with Curtis Smith and Carlos Quintana.
J.S: Quintana, his former opponent! That must have been interesting?
G.P: What you talking about, James (laughs). Yes, it's been interesting.
J.S: Seeing as how Paul destroyed him inside a round, I mean, has he been giving Paul good work?
G.P: They've been having fun in camp, they've been having fun.
J.S: Is Paul sufficiently motivated for this fight with Martinez? He was supposed to have fought Kelly Pavlik in a big, big fight after all. Is Paul pumped for this fight instead?
G.P: Well, you know, he was somewhat disappointed that that fight [with Pavlik] fell through for a third time. It got to the stage where, after the third fall through we couldn't wait any longer. It was clear what the situation was - he [Pavlik] didn't want the fight! And then, after we signed to fight Martinez, he goes and signs to fight somebody else. The fight is a pay-per-view fight, the venue is all set up and all this happens in just two weeks! Good God, how can that have happened?
J.S: That did raise some eyebrows, it must be said.
G.P: And the thing is, those three camps we had [for the separate dates that ultimately fell through for the fight with Pavlik], they cost us money. That's frustrating.
J.S: And is Paul going to take out his frustration on Martinez? Is he gonna be the guy who pays for it all?
G.P: Absolutely. I don't know why people are saying this will be a tough fight for Paul. I don't see anything special in him [Martinez] at all. This is not going to be the fight those people think it will be. This could be Paul's easiest fight.
J.S: And does Paul want a KO, can he get a KO?
G.P: Oh, Paul definitely stops him, definitely. He won't show any pity on this guy. He's ready to go. You see, I just don't see anything special about this guy. I don't understand what these people are looking at. Paul beat the guy who knocked him out, that I do know.
G.P: Antonio Margarito, yes. Paul beat him and that's why he'll have no respect for Martinez. None at all.
J.S: Not looking too far ahead, but how soon ideally will Paul fight again in 2010? I mean, it will be great seeing him back in action in December, after he's been out for so long through no fault of his own.
G.P: Yes, we'd get more action if we could get someone to fight us, you see what I'm saying? I mean, Pavlik's a guy who said he would fight Paul, but he then goes through his theatrics and moves. If you want to fight, just fight!
J.S: You are probably sick and tired of talking about Kelly Pavlik now?
G.P: That's right. I don't even want to talk about him anymore. We've moved on from that now. But what we're looking at is Paul fighting a minimum of three fights in 2010. You see, Paul's thinking about his legacy - he wants to be known as the best fighter in the world pound-for-pound. So to get that distinction he has to fight the best guys. But will they step up and fight him? Paul is a throwback and he's proven time and again that he's not afraid of anyone. No fighter, from 147 to 160, can do anything to Paul Williams.
J.S: I read that Paul would like a fight with Manny Pacquiao. Is that a fight you'd advise he take? I know it would be a huge, super-fight!
G.P: Sure! And Paul can make 145 - he's made it twice before. So there's no problem there. But I doubt we will see that fight happen. But Paul would love it, that I guarantee. Like I say, he's a throwback. People have got to realise that. Not only is Paul the number-one fighter no-one wants to fight - he fights the other fighters nobody wants to fight!
J.S: Just talking a bit more about Pacquiao, as he's the man of the moment. Were you impressed with his win over Cotto?
G.P: I was but I expected him to stop Cotto a lot sooner than he did. Cotto was never the same after the bad beating he took from Margarito. Against Pacquiao, after the 4th-round, he fought to survive and he was running. I kind of knew that would come, because of the terrible beating he took in the Margarito fight.
J.S: Getting back to the Martinez fight. Do you see Paul winning via a highly impressive and quick KO?
G.P: Paul will have plenty of opportunities to take him out quickly. It's just a matter of when he pulls the trigger - we just haven't decided on that yet. But this guy will show Paul a whole lot of respect - much more than he has his other opponents. He'll fight this fight in a different way to his other fights. But he won't be able to hurt Paul, no matter what he does. Certainly not with those pity-pat punches of his. Paul has a great chin, no doubt at all.
J.S: Yes, he's proven that, certainly. It's been a pleasure talking with you, George, as always. And I wish you all the best for the December 5th fight. For my final question; if you could click your fingers and get the best possible opponent for Paul next year, who would it be?
G.P: Well, James, who do you think it should be? For Paul to prove his greatness, who should he fight? You tell me.
J.S: As long as you know he can make welterweight okay and be a hundred-percent strong there, I'd say either Pacquiao or Mayweather.
G.P: Well, there you go. I know the Pacquiao fight is a fight a lot of people would love to see. And Paul never runs from anyone. Who else will fight Pacquiao if not Paul Williams? That's the problem, though - none of these top fighters are in any rush to face Paul. Hopefully next year, someone in the pound-for-pound ratings will come forward and accept a fight with us.
J.S: Well, as long as Paul keeps on winning and as long as he keeps on taking on these avoided fighters, he'll get the respect from writers of Ring magazine and all the other experts. I'm sure he has their respect now.
G.P: But they don't respect him enough, they're not giving him his just due. You see Ring magazine, I don't even think they have Paul in their top-ten pound-for-pound list (actually, Paul is in, just - he's at #10)
J.S: Well I think they should have him top-six for sure.
G.P: Of course they should, but they still don't give Paul enough respect. As I say, Paul will fight at least three times in 2010; but who will agree to fight him?
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