CARSON, Calif. -- Paul Williams won the WBO welterweight
title with an upset victory over champion Antonio Margarito on
Williams (33-0) was hurt several times in the 11th round and was
cut over the left eye. He was ahead on all three scorecards,
115-113, 115-113, and 116-112.
Margarito (34-5) was trying to defend his title for the seventh
time. He fell far behind after six rounds then rallied, but fell
"I thought I won the fight. Williams threw a lot of punches,
but none of the punches ever hurt me," Margarito said. "After the
ninth round, I thought I was ahead on all scorecards. I know I
hurt him several times. I walked over to Williams' corner at the
end of the fight and told him, 'You know you didn't win the
Williams came out very fast and busy, and was able to outpunch
Margarito in exchanges.
"I know I needed to win the early rounds because Margarito
always comes on in the second half of a fight," Williams said.
"But I thought I held my own in the second half."
Margarito tried to get closer to Williams in the first four
rounds, but Williams held when he got inside.
Margarito had his first solid round in the fifth, landing some
high quality punches, but Williams landed several clean right hands
in the sixth.
Margarito's body punching began to slow Williams significantly
in the second half of the fight.
The seventh and eighth were strong rounds for Margarito as the
body work began to take effect, making Williams' legs shaky.
But Williams lengthened his lead in the ninth when his right
uppercuts in close were very effective on Margarito.
Margarito applied non-stop pressure in the 10th and shook
Williams with a right hand just before the bell.
In the 11th Margarito seemed on the verge of stopping Williams,
hurting Williams several times and opening the deep cut over his
Promoter Bob Arum said after the fight that the loss did not
diminish Margarito's status. Arum said he'll speak with Margarito
next week about a fight against unbeaten Miguel Cotto.