A tragic accident has sent shockwaves through the boxing world as former two-time welterweight champion Paul Williams was paralyzed from the waist down after losing control of his motorcycle while trying to avoid an oncoming car Sunday morning outside Atlanta.
According to ESPN’s Dan Rafael, Williams, who was wearing a helmet, swerved out of his lane to avoid a car that was attempting to merge into his lane, putting him directly in the path of another car coming from the other direction. As Williams swerved to avoid the oncoming car, he wound up riding up a steep embankment and losing control of the motorcycle. Williams flew several feet in the air and landing on his back on the road.
Doctors have said Williams will never walk again.
George Peterson, Williams’ trainer and father figure, spoke to ESPN about the devastating news. “They’re saying he won’t walk again or box again. Paul is in denial right now. It’s been that way with him. You tell him he can’t or won’t do something, and he wants to prove you different. So whatever the doctors say, he’s not listening. But they say that (walking and boxing) is not going to happen.”
Williams (41-2, 27 KO’s) was one of the most promising boxers in the world, and could often be seen on HBO and Showtime. During his career Williams won the welterweight title twice along with a junior middleweight title. Standing 6-foot-1, his southpaw style gave him unique physical advantages against his opponents. Williams had just signed to fight up-and-coming star Saul Alvarez for the junior middleweight crown.