Just two days before Thanksgiving and "At Last" featuring 2-time WBO Welterweight World Champion and "The Most Feared Fighter in Boxing," Paul "The Punisher" Williams taking on 3-time World Champion, Verno Phillips, in an interim 12 round WBO Super Welterweight World Championship bout, will take place two days later on Saturday, November 29, at the Inland Empire's hottest state-of-the-art building, Citizens Business Bank Arena located in Ontario, California and broadcast on HBO.
Presented by Goossen Tutor Promotions, Riverside's and Inland Empire's Cristobal "The Nightmare" Arreola, the WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Champion will fight NABF Heavyweight Champion, Travis "Freight Train" Walker also in a 12-round IBF Heavyweight Elimination bout. In addition, Shawn Estrada, the 2008 US Olympian from East Los Angeles, will be making his professional 4-round debut.
The following is a question and answer with the Two-Time WBO Welterweight World Champion, Paul Williams on Saturday's fight against Phillips:
QUESTION: What do you believe makes a fighter like 3-time World Champion Verno Phillips accept a challenge from you, but others avoiding the clash such as Shane Mosely, Antonio Margarito and Kelly Pavlik?
ANSWER: Verno Phillips has no choice. His mortality table has come to an end. He's not in the situation where he can pick and choose.
QUESTION: It's known that you are an extremely large fighter for being a natural 147-pound with an 82" reach and your physical size is comparable to heavyweight fighters such as the Klitschko brothers, Wladimir and Vitali, who have a reach of 81" and 80" respectively. Do you believe that this is the main reason your counterparts avoid you even when millions of dollars have been offered to them to fight you?
ANSWER: It's not so much my reach. It is more about the fighter that I am. Verno has fought larger fighters and won. This is about individual ability. If Verno thought that he couldn't win, he wouldn't have taken the fight. He must feel that with his skill level he will be able to win.
QUESTION: Phillips stated that he has the advantage in the weight department as well as being able to take your punch. Would you agree with either of his points?
ANSWER: I wouldn't say that. I go back to Roy Jones when he fought John Ruiz. John Ruiz was a natural 230-pounder and he didn't hurt Roy.
QUESTION: You've had two consecutive devastating knockouts against fighters that don't get knocked out so easily. It took Cotto five rounds against Quintana when the referee stopped their bout. Phillips was only stopped once and that was in 1988. How do you envision this fight going, and do you believe you can knock him out?
ANSWER: This fight is not predicated on knocking him out. It is about winning the fight. It's about concentrating on coming out victorious.
QUESTION: This will be your 11th fight in California, and the 4th one in your last five bouts. Your fight against Margarito last year was a sell-out at the Home Depot Center, which was the first time it had ever gotten close to selling out. Do you believe the fans embraced you as one of their own, as they may with a new Los Angeles Dodger player?
ANSWER: Most definitely. I always receive a warm reception. I feel as if they recognize me as one of their own. When I was at the Shane Mosley fight they overwhelmed me with attention and autographs.
QUESTION: Winning at this level is tough to do in every fight. Many athletes and not just fighters, start letting outside distractions take away from their training and focus. What keeps you hungry and able to dedicate and sacrifice while training for a fight?
ANSWER: This is my job and it is based on winning. From day one I train to win, not to lose. Winning is the objective here. I want my name to come up when people are speaking of Sugar Ray Leonard, Sugar Ray Robinson, Roberto Duran and Tommy Hearns. I want my name mentioned among that group and that keeps me motivated and hungry.
QUESTION: What goes through your mind when you break camp and prepare for the countdown to your fight?
ANSWER: When you've been on the road for 5 months you get excited because you know it's close to going home time. So I just want to do the job that I came to do and get out.
QUESTION: Providing you with your fight on Saturday, give me the top three names your would like to fight next and why?
ANSWER: I'm going to leave that up to my management team. I will fight who ever they put in front of me at 147,154 or 160.
FINAL COMMENT: I'm expecting a great fight. The winner will be the best fighter that night. No predictions.