“The Standing Eight Count”

Ringside In Sin City For Williams - Wright


By Dave Wilcox
Photos: Bret "The Threat" Newton

The Mandalay Bay Casino played host to HBO’s Championship Boxing series on Saturday night in Las Vegas. In the main event a 12 round “special event” middleweight bout between Paul “The Punisher” Williams and Ronald “Winky” Wright was on tap.

Coming into this fight, Winky Wright hadn’t fought in almost two years. He claims that nobody would fight him and spent most of the week complaining about that or whatever else seemed to pop in his mind. Wright has always been good for an excuse or two.

Paul Williams on the other hand has been quite active and took this fight with the awkward and talented Wright because he is out to prove he is not only a great fighter, but is indeed the pound for pound best in the world.

As the two entered the ring, they both looked in shape and confident. Both men were all smiles in there. As the fight wore on, Wright’s smiles turned to confusion and frustration as the 6’1” Paul Williams would cross the “I” and dot his “T” on a fabulous performance over the game Winky Wright.

Round one started fast with both guys throwing hard shots. Williams controlled most of the round with his long jab. Wright came on late in the round and landed a nice right hook to get the attention of “The Punisher”.

Round two was more of the same as Williams continued to outwork Wright, but Winky did look physically strong at 160 and was finding a home for his right hook. In round three the trend would continue as Williams seemed to never stop throwing punches and was almost smothering Wright with his volume of punches. Winky pressed forward and landed his hook on occasion, but he just couldn’t get off his punches with any frequency.

In the fourth round, Wright was able to do a little better but still fell short on my scorecard. After four rounds, I had given every round to “The Punisher”. Although the fight seemed to be one-sided on the scorecards so far, it seemed that Wright had an opportunity to land against Williams if he could just pick up the pace. As it turned out, that is easier said than done.

God bless his heart, Winky Wright was trying real hard, but the size, speed and skill of Paul Williams was too much to this point. The gritty performance so far by Wright did not go unnoticed by the crowd of 5500 at The Mandalay Bay Events Center. The chants of “Winky”, “Winky” began to fill the arena.

In round five, I gave Wright his first round. He seemed to push forward and landed the cleaner shots. When I told a fellow ringside observer that I gave Wright round number five, he said, “sympathy round?”

Damn he might have been “Wright”.

Williams got right back to work in round six as Winky seemed to slow down and his mug was showing signs of the constant peppering of his face by the shots of Williams.

In round seven I think the crowd sensed that their guy was in trouble and picked up the chants again for Winky Wright. The Florida native responded with some nice hard jabs and I was able to give him round seven.

I think all that did was upset Williams as he would have his most dominant round in number eight and really put the beat down on Wright. Williams would sweep rounds nine through eleven and as the bell for the twelfth and final round began, the game but beaten Winky Wright would need a knockout to win.

As was the case most of night, Winky had the will and determination, but not enough skill and size to overcome all of Paul Williams’ advantages. They two warriors ended with a nice flurry to please the crowd until the final bell.

I think this was the most exciting one-sided fight I’ve seen in a long time.

All three judges ringside scored the bout for Paul Williams.

Judges Jerry Roth and Robert Hoyle scored the bout 119-109, while Judge Adalaide Byrd had it a shutout 120-108. Yours truly had it for 118-110 for Williams.

No shame for Winky Wright on this night. He was just beaten by the better man. Heck it’s hard to keep up with a guy like Williams who threw 104 punches in the first round and 106 in the twelfth and final round. Now that’s conditioning.

Paul Williams moves his record to 37-1 (27 KO)

Winky Wright drops to 51-5-1 (25 KO)


Favorite Game


In the co-main event of the evening we got to play yet another one of our favorite games of “Watch Two Fat Guys Fight”. Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola was squaring off against former title challenger Jameel “Big Time” Mc Cline in 12 round fight for the NABF title. (Whatever that means)

As has been the case for most over Arreola’s career to date, he just can’t seem to be in proper shape. It’s the same story every fight for him. Comes in heavy, claims he won’t do it next time and then comes in the next fight heavy again. For a guy who has so much marketability, it is frustrating for me to see him continue to do this. Fortunately for him, “Big Time” must have been hitting the same buffet lines on the promotional tours. The once Adonis like Mc Cline looked flabby and out of shape himself.

It was apparent early that Arreola had the advantage as Jameel looked gassed in the first minute of the opening round and didn’t appear to me that he was there to win. Arreola worked the body of McCline and won the round going away.

Round two continued to see “The Nightmare” land the harder blows as Mc Cline just tried to survive. In round three, Mc Cline showed life and landed a couple nice left hooks and got the attention of Arreola.

As round four started, Arreola was in complete control and looked to end it.  He landed a beautiful left uppercut that was immediately followed by a quick and powerful right hand that had Mc Cline reeling. He quickly followed with another right hand that put Mc Cline down. Referee Tony Weeks reached the count of ten and Chris Arreola was the winner by knockout at 2:01 of round number four.

In the end, fat or not, Arreola did what he came to do and continued on his path to a title shot. He is now the mandatory contender for Vitali Klitschko’s Heavyweight crown. If and when that fight happens, it will be a tough night for Arreola. A guy as undisciplined as Chris will have no chance against the bigger, stronger and always in shape Dr. Frankenstein.

Chris Arreola improves his record to 27-0 (24 KO)

Jameel Mc Cline looks to be through as a legitimate contender and falls to 39-10-3 (23 KO)


The Undercard:

In an 8 round Junior Welterweight bout, undefeated Danny Garcia of Philadelphia swept the cards against the game but overmatched Humberto Tapia of Tijuana, Mexico. Garcia got his work in and did all he could to Tapia. It appears Tapia has rocks in his head. I’m not sure Garcia would have been able to get him out of there with a sledgehammer. It was a nice win for the youngster. I look for big things from him in the future. Two judges scored the bout 79-73 and the third had it 80-72. This scoring challenged reporter had it 80-72.

Danny Garcia improves his undefeated record to 12-0 (7 KO)

Tapia drops to 14-10-1 (7 KO)


Goossen golden child and undefeated former Olympian, Shawn Estrada from Los Angeles took on Omar Coffi of Londonderry, NH, in a scheduled four round Super Middleweight affair. I have been ringside for all of Estrada’s bouts in his young career and the streak continues. I have yet to see a guy with a heartbeat in there against him.

Estrada came out quickly in round one and put Coffi down with a big right hand. In round two, Estrada staggered Coffi again with a right hand with twenty seconds to go and followed quickly with another at nine seconds in the round to put Coffi in big trouble.

As round three started, it was only a matter of time. A flurry towards the end of round three prompted the corner of Coffi to throw in the towel. He seemed ok, but I guess they figured he had enough. I know I did. The fight was halted at :47 seconds of round three.

I like Estrada a lot. He is a very nice young man and I wish him well. He certainly has skill but time will tell what he can do against a decent opponent. He shows that he can be hit and leaves himself wide open as he throws wide punches.

Shawn Estrada jumps to 4-0 (4 KO)

Omar Coffi falls to 1-2-2


Other action:

-In a Junior Welterweight bout scheduled for ten rounds, Jose Rodriguez of New York won a majority decision over Pablo Montes De Oca of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Two judges had the bout scored in favor of Rodriguez by the scores of 98-92 and 96-94. The third had it scored 95-95.

Jose Rodriguez improves to 13-1-1 (2 KO)

Pablo Montes De Oca drops to 9-16-2 (6 KO)


-Middleweight Craig Mc Ewan of Scotland made quick work of Alexis Division and got him out of there with a body shot at 1:49 of round number one.

The young Scottsman improves to 14-0 (9 KO)

Alexis Division goes to 16-9 (13 KO)


-Young and exciting Micheal Dallas of Bakersfield, Ca. continued his unbeaten career with a unanimous decision over Terrance Jett of Las Vegas, NV in a four round Junior Welterweight bout. He swept the cards in impressive fashion and looks for big things in the future.


Michael Dallas improves to 7-0-1 (1 KO)

Terrance Jett improves his stellar record to 4-13-2 (2 KO)


-Featherweights took the ring as Juan Dominguez of the Dominican Republic won by TKO at 2:10 of round number one against Ramon Flores of Wilmington, California.

Juan Dominguez moves to 4-0 (2 KO)

Ramon Flores drops to 3-5-1 (3 KO)


-In a six round Junior Featherweight bout, Rico Ramos of Pico Rivera, California won a unanimous decision over Gino Escamilla of Laredo, Texas.

Rico Ramos jumps his record to 9-0 (5 KO)

Gino Escamilla falls to 5-5-1 (2 KO)


Press Conference:

As is usually the case, Chris Arreola stole the show. “Mc Cline came to fight” I always come to fight” Arreola said. “When my people say fight, f**k it, lets go!”

He went on to say that he loves his fans and not only his Mexican fans, but he loves America.

“My parents brought me here for a good life”  “F**k, I got a good life.”

When asked about his weight issues he replied, “I wanted to come in at 245, but this damn Las Vegas food is good.” 

It’s these types of comments that make me wonder if Chris will ever take this job as seriously as he needs to. Talent can only take you so far.

Paul Williams came to the podium and said that Winky Wright brought out the best in him. “I wanted the knockout but Winky was determined so we just outworked him.”

Williams talked about moving back down to Welterweight to take on Shane Mosley and reclaim his belts there. The Williams team also hinted that they would like to get Bernard Hopkins back down to 160 for a matchup with the great “Executioner.”

Winky Wright had his turn to talk and to my surprise he was very gracious and gave Williams full credit for the victory.  “I knew he would throw a lot of punches, but not that many” “Damn is he long!”

Winky also assured everyone that this is not the end for him. “This is the first press conference I’ve come to after a loss, but I wanted to come here and give credit to Paul.” “I’ll get back to the gym and be more active, I’ll be back.”


Wife of the Year?

For those who have read my column, you know that I will mention the talented and lovely Mrs. Wilcox on occasion. She has outdone herself this time. In these tough economic times it’s hard to justify hotel stays and trips to Vegas. I gave Mrs. Wilcox the daunting task of finding me a cheap room in Vegas for this trip to the fights. I’m challenged in that regard and the wife is a bulldog that could out negotiate William Shatner if given the opportunity. As her search came to end, she called me at work and said, “I booked you a room at Hooters” That is what it’s all about my friends. She could have put me in the Motel 6 or Slip it Inn, but no, she stepped it up in a big way this time. This is what happens when you marry right. It will be paid forward back to you.

She did however make sure to tell me that I could look, but I can’t touch.

Damn, I love that woman!


Keep Punching


Remember to listen to The “Talkin Boxing with Billy C.” Radio show. It is live five days a week and available on podcast anytime. Dave Wilcox serves as the West Coast Correspondent and appears every Monday morning to talk boxing. Go to www.talkinboxing.com for details

Questions and comments to Dave@TalkinBoxing.com