By: William Holmes
Two highly rated boxers will be on Showtime’s boxing card this Saturday as Paul “The Punisher” Williams takes on Nobuhiro Ishida and Tavoris Cloud takes on Gabriel Campillo. Tavoris Cloud is eagerly awaiting the winner of the Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson clash in April as he claims to be the top boxer in the light heavyweight division. Paul Williams eagerly awaits any of the top challengers from the welterweight division to the middleweight division, and would probably love another shot at Sergio Martinez. A preview of these bouts follows below:
Paul Williams (40-2) vs. Nobuhiro Ishida (24-6); Junior Middleweight
Paul Williams has not looked like the feared pound for pound boxer he was originally made out to be since his brutal second round KO loss to Sergio Martinez in November of 2010. He only fought once in 2011, and he barely squeaked by a relative unknown Erislandy Lara with a majority decision that many felt he lost. He seems to have finally decided on the junior middleweight division, as he is too tall to suck himself down to the welterweight limit, and too thin to compete with some of the hard hitting bangers in the middleweight division. Paul Williams is certainly a talent, but a devastating loss can shake a fighter’s confidence. Williams has 27 knockouts to his record, but has not had any in his last five fights.
Standing across from Paul Williams will be Japanese boxer Nobuhiro Ishida. Ishida was not well known until his shocking upset of then undefeated James Kirkland in April of 2011 with a first round knockout. Interestingly enough, the Kirkland fight was Ishida’s first and only fight in the United States. Ishida’s record is not overly impressive at first look, but his record is a solid 24-6, meaning it is not filled with a lot of pushovers. Since June of 2002 Ishida has not fought a single fighter with a record below .500. He only has 9 knockouts to his record, but two of them came in his last two fights in the first round.
If Paul Williams has any confidence left, he should win this fight. His only two losses were to southpaws, and Ishida fights out of an orthodox stance. Ishida will likely look to test the chin of Williams early, but it’s questionable how much power Ishida really has with a knockout rate of less than thirty percent. They both stand at 6’1”, but Williams has an impressive ten inch reach advantage over Ishida. Look for Williams to keep Ishida at bay with his reach and cruise to a decision victory.
Tavoris Cloud (23-0) vs. Gabriel Campillo (21-3); Light Heavyweight
Tavoris Cloud claims to be the best boxer in the light heavyweight division. He just needs to start fighting the best boxers in the division. Gabriel Campillo is certainly no pushover, but he’s a 33 year old fighter with a less than impressive record.
Tavoris Cloud was able to stop the tough veteran Yusaf Mack in the 8th round in June of 2011. His best victories previous to his last fight was a decision victory over the aged veteran Glen Johnson in August of 2010, and a decision victory to win the IBF title over Clinton Woods in August of 2009. Cloud has two TKOs in his past five fights. He has impressive hand speed, and the durability to go the distance and outwork his opponents. Cloud also has power, as 19 of his victories have come by KO or TKO.
Gabriel Campillo is difficult to decipher and gives good boxers fits in the ring. He went 1-1 with top 10 ranked light heavyweight Beibut Shumenov. He won a majority decision and lost a split decision with Beibut Shumenov. He last fought another top 10 ranked light heavyweight in October of this year, fighting to a draw with Karo Murat. He doesn’t have that impressive victory to make him a household name, but a victory over Cloud will make him well known. Campillo also lacks power, as only 8 of his victories have come by KO or TKO. He relies on his technical ability to win his fights. Campillo is also 33 years old, and he is looking at a closing widow of opportunity.
While most fight fans would have preferred to see Cloud take on Pascal, Cleverly, or Erdei, Campillo represents a tough enough fighter to make it interesting. Cloud however should not have any problems disposing of Campillo. It will be impressive if Cloud wins by KO or TKO, as Campillo has only been stopped once in his career.