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'Punisher' breaks down Cotto-Margarito

7/24/2008

LAS VEGAS -- One of the more interested bystanders to Saturday's big fight between welterweight titleholder Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito is Paul "The Punisher" Williams, who defeated Margarito to win a belt last summer.

After beating Margarito, with whom he once sparred, on a close decision, Williams lost his title in stunning-upset fashion in his first defense. Carlos Quintana, a former Cotto knockout victim, won a decision against him in February, but Williams turned the tables in the immediate rematch by scoring an overwhelming first-round knockout on June 7.

Although Williams (34-1, 25 KOs) has been exploring the possibility of moving up to middleweight -- there was an offer to challenge champion Kelly Pavlik that fell apart over money demands from the Williams camp, and there are talks about a fight with Winky Wright -- he is also interested in unifying titles with the winner of Saturday's fight.

Williams weighed in on Saturday's fight.

&#8226; What is Margarito's advantage over Cotto?

Williams: I really don't see that he does have an advantage over Cotto.

&#8226; What do you think about Cotto?

Williams: I think that Cotto is a well-rounded fighter that is tough and strong. Both fighters are evenly matched. Whoever is in control that night will win the fight.

&#8226; How would you fight Cotto?

Williams: If I were to fight Cotto, I would fight him like I would any of my opponents that I have taken on or will take on. I will train hard and prepare to come in the ring at my best and be ready for war. It's hard for welterweights to prepare for my size and power.

&#8226; What is Cotto's advantage over Margarito?

Williams: I really don't see an advantage. As I said earlier, whoever is in control will win. It's an even match.

&#8226; How will the fight play out? Who do you think will win?

Williams: It's going to be a good fight as long as it lasts. I don't see it going the distance.

&#8226; What if Cotto wins?

Williams: Unless he fights Oscar De La Hoya, he has to come through me to determine the best welterweight in the world. Remember, if he wins, he beats the man I already beat.

&#8226; What if Margarito wins?

Williams: It's a no-brainer: The rematch is on. Can't take nothing away from Margarito; he didn't dump his belt in a trash can to avoid me. He fought like a man that night, and I've always said I would give him the rematch.