Williams upsets Margarito for WBO belt
CARSON, Calif. -- Paul Williams won the WBO welterweight title with an upset victory over champion Antonio Margarito on Saturday night.
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 just short.
"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 fight.'"
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 left eye.
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.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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