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Paul Williams paralyzed following motorcycle crash

May 29, 2012|By Austin Knoblauch

Boxer Paul Williams was left paralyzed after a Sunday motorcycle crash near Atlanta, and doctors are unsure whether the 30-year-old will be able to walk again.

Williams' manager told the Associated Press on Monday that Williams severed his spinal cord and that he cannot move from the waist down.

"He's in very good spirits, though," said George Peterson, Williams' trainer. "He still believes he's going to fight again."

Williams crashed while trying to avoid an oncoming car after trying to maneuver away from another car in a lane next to him. Williams, of Aiken, S.C., was in the area to attend his brother's wedding on Sunday afternoon.

Williams' scheduled fight against Saul "Canelo" Alvarez on Sept. 15 in Las Vegas has been canceled, Peterson said.

“Right now, there's no thinking about any fights right now except for the fight that's facing Paul right now — to get movement back in his body and keep the movement that's above his waist,” said Dan Goossen, Williams' promoter.

The 6-foot-1 Williams (41-2, 27 knockouts) defined himself as an active punching southpaw who could fight anywhere between welterweight and middleweight.

He struggled to get a fight as one of the sport’s most avoided boxers after scoring a unanimous decision over Mexico’s Antonio Margarito in 2007 at Home Depot Center in Carson, then rallying from a surprising loss to Carlos Quintana to knock him out in the first round of their rematch.

Williams, who was a world welterweight and interim world super-welterweight champion, beat current middleweight champion Sergio Martinez by majority decision in 2009.

In their rematch on Nov. 20, 2011, Martinez beat Williams with a second-round knockout.

Peterson hopes Williams' boxing career isn't over.

“I want to think along with him, 'cause I've seen him do things in his boxing career that shouldn't have happened,” Peterson told the Associated Press. “We want his fans to know he's going to be all right and he'll be back. He said if he wasn't going to be boxing, he's going to be a standup comedian.”

Times staff writer Lance Pugmire contributed to this post.

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