LAS VEGAS -- One of the more interested bystanders to Saturday's big fight between welterweight titleholder Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito is Paul "The Punisher" Williams, who defeated Margarito to win a belt last summer.
After beating Margarito, with whom he once sparred, on a close decision, Williams lost his title in stunning-upset fashion in his first defense. Carlos Quintana, a former Cotto knockout victim, won a decision against him in February, but Williams turned the tables in the immediate rematch by scoring an overwhelming first-round knockout on June 7.
Although Williams (34-1, 25 KOs) has been exploring the possibility of moving up to middleweight -- there was an offer to challenge champion Kelly Pavlik that fell apart over money demands from the Williams camp, and there are talks about a fight with Winky Wright -- he is also interested in unifying titles with the winner of Saturday's fight.
Williams weighed in on Saturday's fight.
• What is Margarito's advantage over Cotto?
Williams: I really don't see that he does have an advantage over Cotto.
• What do you think about Cotto?
Williams: I think that Cotto is a well-rounded fighter that is tough and strong. Both fighters are evenly matched. Whoever is in control that night will win the fight.
• How would you fight Cotto?
Williams: If I were to fight Cotto, I would fight him like I would any of my opponents that I have taken on or will take on. I will train hard and prepare to come in the ring at my best and be ready for war. It's hard for welterweights to prepare for my size and power.
• What is Cotto's advantage over Margarito?
Williams: I really don't see an advantage. As I said earlier, whoever is in control will win. It's an even match.
• How will the fight play out? Who do you think will win?
Williams: It's going to be a good fight as long as it lasts. I don't see it going the distance.
• What if Cotto wins?
Williams: Unless he fights Oscar De La Hoya, he has to come through me to determine the best welterweight in the world. Remember, if he wins, he beats the man I already beat.
• What if Margarito wins?
Williams: It's a no-brainer: The rematch is on. Can't take nothing away from Margarito; he didn't dump his belt in a trash can to avoid me. He fought like a man that night, and I've always said I would give him the rematch.