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21 OCTOBER 2018


SecondsOut Team Pick Hearns vs. Williams

Thomas Hearns vs. Paul Williams
Thomas Hearns vs. Paul Williams

One is a young boxing star of today competing in multiple weight classes and the other a pound for pound great of the past who went up and down in weight, both winning world titles, but that hasn’t stopped SecondsOut’s team of fearless writers from making their confident picks for a twelve round welterweight boxing match between Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns and Paul Williams at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, USA.

“Hmmm, who ever thought of this one sure knew how to match fighters. These two have similar tools including size, power, boxing skills, and more. Hearns was a more solid performer. He had that IT factor. He knew what to do in almost every situation and had great power and courage. I could be describing Williams when I say those things, but Hearns was a sleight cut above Williams in all or most categories. Tommy by late stoppage. Maybe the tenth. Hearns W.KO.10.”
- Jerry Glick - Contributing Editor - New York City, USA

“In his prime years, Thomas Hearns’ punching power was irresistible to all but the very best, see Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Sugar Ray Leonard and the freakishly tough Iran Barkley. Everyone else was usually hurt bad, see Roberto Duran. Paul Williams career is still be fulfilled and it is hard to truly measure him as yet. The way he dismantled Carlos Quintana in one round to avenge his only defeat was impressive. He handled Antonio Margarito well. With more on his resume, I’m leaning towards Hearns winning by stoppage in a furious battle. Hearns W.KO.5.”
- Paul Upham, Content Editor - Sydney, Australia

“Few men in any era would have a chance against the Motor City Cobra. The tall Punisher would have been reduced to his minimal expression. Hearns W.KO.8.”
- Juan Pablo Manfredi - Buenos Aires, Argentina

“Part of the intrigue of this comparison is that both fighters are tall for the welterweight division. Oddly, in a meeting between them, it probably would not make much difference. Both of these fighters fought opponents during their careers that were just as tall as they were and performed well. The only question mark here would be how well Williams would cope with a world-class fighter of similar height. Hearns had very fast hands, better technique and of course, crushing power at welterweight. His record at welterweight was 32-1 (30). As much as he was a puncher at this weight, he also proved to be an excellent boxer. It is a rare combination and something Williams has never encountered. Paul Williams’ at welterweight was an aggressive southpaw volume puncher. He used his height and activity levels to wear down opponents. Williams’ has punching power, but at welterweight he focused on volume and was not particularly accurate. It was not unusual for him to miss 80-90% of his punches. A fight at welterweight would probably result in Williams’ style working against him. There is a good chance that Williams would find himself walking straight into the firing range of a faster, more accurate, harder punching opponent with a killer instinct for finishing off hurt opponents. It is hard to imagine this ending any other way but a KO for Hearns. Williams has shown flashes of brilliance during his career that make you think he could one day reach greatness, but there are a lot of raw edges in his game yet that a fighter of Hearns’ caliber would have be sure to exploit. Hearns W.KO.3.”
- John Lumpkin - Madison, Wisconsin, USA

“Paul Williams may be tall and lanky, but he is no Tommy Hearns. This fight would probably be better suited for junior middleweight, but I don’t think the result would be any different at 147. Hearns was able to outboxed Sugar Ray Leonard for much of fourteen rounds in their first fight and he bombed out Pipino Cuevas in two rounds as a welterweight. Even though he was still a few fights from the peak of his prime, I think Hearns wins this one hands down. Williams is just too darn hittable. Guys like Carlos Quintana and Sergio Martinez, who are solid technicians, managed to get inside on Williams and sting him. They also were able to outbox him from the outside. If Hearns plays up his strengths, he’ll be able to control Williams using his length because Williams doesn’t seem to take advantage of that asset much at all. Plus, Quintana and Martinez combined do not punch with the same authority Hearns did. I will give Williams credit for being durable though. I would say he has better recuperative powers than the Motor City Cobra. He was able to absorb some good offensive from Martinez and Antonio Margarito as well. In the end, I see Hearns being more willing than some of Williams’ opponents. He won’t give away some early rounds and he won’t shy away from going for the KO when he finds his opening. When all is said and done, I think Hearns would be the victor. It might not be his most chilling KO, but I see a three knockdown rule saving Williams from more punishment somewhere around the sixth. Hearns W.KO.6.”
- Derek Bonnett - Connecticut, USA

“There would be a race in press row to be the first to prematurely utter the words, Hagler-Hearns II. Williams knows how to fight one way, and Hearns would gladly join him in a fire-fight. Both fighters offense hide deficiencies in their defense. The biggest difference in this fight would be punching power, and the moment Williams begins to slow down; Hearns will take him out. Hearns W.KO.7.”
- Jason Pribila - Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA

“Although physically Thomas Hearns and Paul Williams match up well Tommy, in my opinion, was one of the all time great welterweights and possibly the hardest puncher 147 has ever seen. Williams has shown a tendency to leave himself open when he wings his punches in bunches and Hearns would patiently set him up with his whip-like left jab before lowering the boom with the right. Hearns is just too fast, hits too hard and is just too good for Williams at welterweight. Tommy by knockout in three. Hearns W.KO.3.”
- Matthew Hurley - Boston, USA

“I am a huge Thomas Hearns fan so it would be, more or less, a disgrace if I didn’t pick him as a winner. The legendary KO-power of the Hitman can’t be taking into consideration enough in my opinion. The first 17 opponents of his career can testify to that as well as several others. Few boxers have possessed the same force to hit people unconscious as Hearns. In my mind Williams just isn’t in his category although he isn’t a bad fighter. The only thing that could cause Thomas Hearns problem is the fact that Williams is a southpaw, but no I can’t imagine that would be an issue. Hearns clips Williams with a good punch early, showing his class. A fourth round KO in devastating fashion leaving the crowd breathless. Yeah that’s my scenario for that fight! Hearns W.KO.4.”
- Teddy Stenmark - Sweden

“Tommy The Hitman Hearns and Paul The Punisher Williams would have been quite a fight. The Hitman had spectacular knockout power to go along with his boxing skills. The Punisher is an excellent pressure fighter that has shown thus far in his career that he can get up off the canvas and dig deep to win a fight. The two are similar height with the reach advantage going to the southpaw Williams. At 147lbs in a twelve round fight, I would go with Tommy Hearns to possibly stop Williams late or win a close decision. If the fight were 15 rounds or at a heavier weight, Williams’ chances would improve greatly and he could possibly stop Hearns late. But in this case I’m going with Hearns. Hearns W.UD.12.”
- Derek Gionta - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

“Great match-up of two guys with similar physical stature. But that’s where the similarity ends. Hearns was a very good boxer with tremendous power. I remember his fight with Roberto Duran, where he almost decapitated the Panamanian legend in the second round. Complete blow-out! His technical abilities were underrated, as most people focused on his dynamite power. As Emmanuel Steward often said, in his prime, Hearns never got outboxed. He lost his fights when he chose to brawl, such as his fights with Hagler and Barkley. Hearns could throw every punch in the book with authority and had only one weakness...his glass jaw. His relatively small head prevented him from absorbing big shots. Paul Williams may look like Hearns, but he lacks the devastating power that Hearns possessed. He’s a very good boxer but I don’t think he’s fought anywhere near the level of competition that Hearns fought and has struggled with some guys he really should have blown out. I think Hearns would fight a smart fight and win in a late stoppage. Hearns W.TKO.10.”
- Tri Nguyen - Alexandria, Virginia, USA

“The Thomas Hearns who iced Pipino Cuevas and gave Sugar Ray Leonard an absolute nightmare in 1981 eats Paul Williams alive. This match up isn’t competitive for a variety of reasons but the main ones are that Hearns is infinitely more talented and a massive puncher while Williams is anything but elusive. If you’re part of the Paul Williams management team, you should walk in the other direction, in a hurry, to avoid this. I’m not sold on Williams and think his freakish height and wingspan far out way his talent in the ring. The same cannot be said for Hearns who was simply electric between 147 and 154lbs. Hearns W.KO.”
- Tom Gray - Motherwell, Scotland, UK




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