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Saturday, April 11, 2009
Updated: April 12, 8:44 PM ET
Wright vs. Williams from Las Vegas

By Dan Rafael, Darius Ortiz
ESPN.com

It's fight night in Las Vegas! Dan Rafael fills you in from ringside up until the main event. Then, Darius Ortiz calls the action as Winky Wright and Paul Williams meet in a 12-round middleweight bout.

11:44 p.m. ET: Official scores: 119-109 twice, 120-108, all three for Paul Williams. Dan Rafael and I both had it 118-110 for P-Will.

Wright looked like a 37-year-old fighter who hadn't fought in two years but all credit to Williams, who threw nearly 400 more punches than Wright over 12 rounds.


11:38 p.m. ET: Round 12. Twelve rounds in and Williams still energetic. Williams wants to finish with a flourish but is leaving himself open to Wright's counters. Williams steps back and works the jab again. Williams lands a jab to the body and Wright nearly loses his footing. Williams misses with a right but follows it up with a left. Williams misses with a left, then cuffs Wright behind the head. Williams hurts Wright with a left but is stopped in his tracks but a Wright cross. Both men trade at the bell.

Dan Rafael scores Round 12: 10-9, Williams
Darius Ortiz scores Round 12: 10-9, Williams

11:34 p.m. ET: Round 11. Wright seems content to survive 12 rounds with Williams. Williams is still punching but without the same power or effect. Williams lands a right hook. Wright ties up. Williams lands a sneaky left hand over the top. Williams moves to the right, stops and unloads again. Wright has resorted to blocking and isn't doing much else. The opportunities to counter are few and far between as Williams steps out of range whenever he stops punching. Wright goes back to working the body. Too late for that, Winky.

Dan Rafael scores Round 11: 10-9, Williams
Darius Ortiz scores Round 11: 10-9, Williams

11:30 p.m. ET: Round 10. Williams streaks across the ring and misses with a left. Wright makes a stand but Williams is going all out with hooks and crosses. Williams has no respect for Wright's power and Wright just can't land anything on Williams. Williams steps outside, slides into the pocket, unloads, then steps out again. Wright just blocks with his face and occasionally with his gloves. Williams rolls with Wright's punches and then plugs away with his own. Williams' punches lack snap at this point but he's still landing. Wright's left eye is almost completely shut. Both men touch 'em up at the bell.

Dan Rafael scores Round 10: 10-9, Williams
Darius Ortiz scores Round 10: 10-9, Williams

11:26 p.m. ET: Round 9. Williams is just too busy for Wright. Both men uncork hooks; Williams lands with more authority. Williams has Wright on the ropes and is working him over. Wright fights off the ropes but seems winded. Williams reach and workrate have Wright flustered. Wright is absorbing jabs to the face and body.

Dan Rafael scores Round 9: 10-9, Williams
Darius Ortiz scores Round 9: 10-9, Williams


11:22 p.m. ET: Round 8. Wright has dropped his guard and works the jab. The crowd is getting behind Winky. Williams throws the left, then lands a solid right hook. Wright is forced to hold on. Williams is doing all the right things at the moment. Wright is eating a lot of shots. Williams steps back and unloads with the uppercut. Williams waltzes away from a Wright attack, then stops and lands a volley of punches. Wright makes a stand and lands a right hook. Williams smiles it off.

Dan Rafael scores Round 8: 10-9, Williams
Darius Ortiz scores Round 8: 10-9, Williams


11:18 p.m. ET: Round 7. Both men try to establish the jab to begin the seventh. Williams manages to punch through Wright's air-tight guard. Williams moves to the left, jabs, then spins. Williams lands a combo, then ducks the return fire. Williams retreats, stops, and lands a pair of right hooks. Williams continues to stuff his jab into Wright's face.

Dan Rafael scores Round 7: 10-9, Williams
Darius Ortiz scores Round 7: 10-9, Williams

11:14 p.m. ET: Round 6. Wright lunges in but Williams ducks under the right. Wright plants a right hook on Williams. Williams is backpedaling now. Wright blinds Williams with a jab and lunges in again with the left. Williams is bouncing on his toes and seems relatively fresh. Williams does decent work on the inside. Williams blasts Wright with a jab. Both men tie up at the bell.

Dan Rafael scores Round 6: 10-9, Williams
Darius Ortiz scores Round 6: 10-9, Williams


11:10 p.m. ET: Round 5. Wright looks a little confused to begin the fifth round. Williams lands his right jab then follows up with a left. Wright reaches in with the jab but Williams ties him up. Wright jabs to the pit of Williams' stomach. Williams brushes it off and goes back to the jab. Williams ties up but Wright does little to work himself out. Wright continues to throw to the body. Wright is letting Williams come forward now in hopes of countering. Better round for Wright.

Dan Rafael scores Round 5: 10-9, Wright
Darius Ortiz scores Round 5: 10-9, Wright

11:06 p.m. ET: Round 4. Williams goes back to working the jab. Williams ties up and throws an uppercut. Williams has Wright pinned against the ropes but Wright frees himself. Williams lands up and throws a punch right through Wright's guard. Williams drops his left hand and Wright lands a nifty right cross. Williams works the body from the inside. Both men exchange body blows. Wright's jab is punishing and he pumps it at every opportunity.

Dan Rafael scores Round 4: 10-9, Williams
Darius Ortiz scores Round 4: 10-9, Williams


11:02 p.m. ET: Round 3. Wright comes out swinging to begin Round 3. Both men tie up and throw punches with their free hand. Wright is doing his best to close the gap. Williams lands a clubbing left hand and Wright holds. Williams is letting Wright initiate the exchanges. Williams gets overanxious and lunges in. Wright makes him pay with a left cross. Williams mixes his uppercuts with body punches. Wright's face seems a bit puffy. Both men wing punches at the bell.

Dan Rafael scores Round 3: 10-9, Williams
Darius Ortiz scores Round 3: 10-9, Williams


10:58 p.m. ET: Round 2. Both men clash heads but no damage done. Williams lands a low blow and is admonished by the left. Williams is unloading with heavy shots. Wright looks wobbly but smiles and nods. Williams is working the uppercut well. Williams' mobility is giving Wright problems. Wright lands a solid jab as Williams swarms. Wright bangs to the body as he comes in. Williams punctuates a combination with an uppercut. Solid round for Williams.

Dan Rafael scores Round 2: 10-9, Williams
Darius Ortiz scores Round 2: 10-9, Williams

10:54 p.m. ET: Round 1. The fighters have touched gloves and we're off. Both men work to establish their jabs. Wright works the body and Williams unloads with a combination. Wright is moving forward; Williams is shifty and moving from left to right and picking his spots. Williams backhands his jab; Wright responds with a right hook. Wright lands a left over the top. Williams stuffs his jab through Wright's guard. Williams jabs; when he's done, Wright moves in with a right hand. Wright blocks a Williams combination, then misses with an uppercut. right is blocking the majority of Wright's punches.

Dan Rafael scores Round 1: 10-9, Wright
Darius Ortiz scores Round 1: 10-9, Wright

10:49 p.m. ET: It's the fight we've all been waiting for … well, maybe it isn't. But it's still an entertaining scrap: Winky Wright returns to the ring for the first time in nearly two years to face Paul Williams. Williams is in the ring waiting for his opponent. Here comes Wright now.


10:40 p.m. ET: Although Cris Arreola has been viewed by many as the best American heavyweight hope, the tough and tattooed brawler had yet to notch a signature victory against a notable foe.

Although undefeated, Arreola had built his record largely on lesser opponents. His best victories came against fellow prospects such as Chazz Witherspoon and Travis Walker.

But now Arreola has that signature victory to stamp himself as a legitimate heavyweight contender. In a fan-friendly and hard-hitting fight, Arreola knocked out former four-time title challenger Jameel McCline at 2:01 of the fourth round on Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in the co-feature to the Paul Williams-Winky Wright middleweight fight.

"I feel really good," Arreola said. "I took my time. He was tough. I took the punches and I gave some good punches. I want to fight the best. I want to convince the fans that I can fight the best."

Before finalizing the McCline fight, Arreola had been a serious possibility to face titleholder Wladimir Klitschko in June.

Arreola looms as a likely opponent eventually for either Wladimir or his older brother and fellow titleholder Vitali Klitschko.

"I'll fight whoever they tell me," Arreola said. "If they tell me I'm ready to fight Klitschko, I'll fight him. If not, I'll fight someone else."

Although Arreola will never win a body beautiful contest, weighing in at a flabby 255 pounds, he can punch.

He rocked McCline, 38, with right hands at the end of the first round, when he grabbed onto him to stay on his feet.

He rocked McCline again in the third round with another right hand, although McCline certainly caught Arreola's attention when he landed a few shots of his own.

However, Arreola, 28, continued to march forward and walk McCline (39-10-3, 23 KOs) down in the fourth, when he finally got to him. He landed a left uppercut and two right hands that sent the usually durable McCline down in the corner, where he took referee Tony Weeks' full count.

Arreola (27-0, 24 KOs), who has never been past eight rounds, closed impressively, outlanding McCline 16-1 in the fourth round.

"He's a strong kid," McCline said. "I didn't have a lot of time. I had six weeks notice to prepare. It is not an excuse. He beat me. Is he blazing? No, but he beat me. What right do I have to say he is not blazing?"


10:01 p.m. ET: Philadelphia junior welterweight Danny Garcia (12-0, 7 KOs) dominated Mexico's Humberto Tapia (14-10-1, 7 KOs) for a routine eight-round decision victory in the final fight before HBO goes on the air. The judges had it 80-72 (twice) and 79-73. Garcia just had too much speed and skill for Tapia, who tried but had no chance. Garcia, who lost at the U.S. Olympic trials, remains a raw talent and still a prospect to keep an eye on.


8:51 p.m. ET: Super middleweight Shawn Estrada (4-0, 4 KOs), a 2008 U.S. Olympian from Los Angeles, was pushed past the first round for the first time in his third-round TKO of New Hampshire's Omar Coffi (1-2-2). Although Estrada, 24, got the stoppage, he didn't impress, getting tagged more than you'd expect against such a low level opponent. Coffi, 28, looked like he would go out really quick when Estrada dropped him in the opening seconds of the fight with a left-right combination. But Coffi regrouped and by the end of the round, he was landing shots and at least giving it a good try. He was probably winning the second round until Estrada dropped him twice in the final few seconds. First, Coffi went down on a right hand followed by a body shot and then for the second time on a right hand. Estrada came out strong in the third and was hammering Coffi and looked like he was on the verge of a knockout when Coffi's trainer jumped through the ropes to save his fighter at 47 seconds.


8:21 p.m. ET: This fight felt like it took 10 years but junior middleweight Jose Rodriguez (13-1-1, 2 KOs) of New York claimed a 10-round majority decision against Las Vegas journeyman Pablo Montes De Oca (9-15-2, 6 KOs). The judges were all over the place after the back-and-forth fight. One judge called it a draw, 95-95. The others had it for Rodriguez, an absurd 98-92 and a more reasonable 96-94.


7:08 p.m. ET: After a brief intermission, the action resumed and Scotland's Craig McEwan, a solid prospect, made fast work of Alexis Division (16-9, 13 KOs) in their middleweight fight. McEwan (14-0, 9 KOs) landed one good right hand to the head and dropped Division to all fours, where he took referee Robert Byrd's full count. It was over in just 1:49. Division, a late substitute, has lost nine in a row, although this was the first time he stopped in the opening round during his career free-fall.


6:50 p.m. ET: Junior welterweight Michael Dallas (7-0-1, 1 KOs), a 22-year-old co-managed by Jackie Kallen, easily outpointed survivor Terrance Jett (4-13-2, 2 KOs), who is as tough a man as they come. Dallas ripped him throughout the fight but Jett found a way to stay on his feet to the final bell. The scores were no surprise: 40-36, 40-35 (twice), all for Dallas, who looks as though he has skills but not much pop.


6:42 p.m. ET: Rico Ramos (9-0, 5 KOs) looked pretty good outboxing Gino Escamilla (5-4-1, 2 KOs) in six-round junior featherweight bout to open the show, at least from what I saw of the bout. Ramos won on scores of 59-55 and 58-56 (twice). There couldn't have been more than 100 people in the arena for the fight. I didn't even get here until about the third round. In the second bout, Juan Dominguez (3-0, 2 KOs) turned over a perfect left hook to the body to knock out Ramon Flores (3-4-1, 3 KOs) at 2:10 of the first round. Flores had no intention of getting up.


6:40 p.m. ET: Dan Rafael: Greetings from the Mandalay Bay Events Center. This is going to be a long card. Nine fights and it started at 2:45 p.m. PT. They are not expecting a big crowd for the show, even though it's a pretty darn good card. The Events Center has a large black curtain up in the back considerably cutting down the arena capacity.

Darius Ortiz is ESPN.com's boxing editor.
Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.