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Wright vs. Williams tonight in Las Vegas!

Tonight is fight night on HBO, as former two-time welterweight titlist Paul "The Punisher" Williams and former undisputed super welterweight champion Winky Wright square off in a twelve round middleweight contest live at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV.

Williams has remained active from 147lbs to 160lbs, scoring wins that included his one round revenge stoppage of Carlos Quintana, another first round stoppage of Andy Kolle in his middleweight debut, and a 9th round TKO win over former IBF junior middleweight champion Verno Phillips in his most recent outing.

Wright, who is ten years Williams senior, hasn't seen action in the prize ring since losing a close unanimous decision to then-light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins in July of 2007. Depending on what kind of shape Wright is in for this fight and how much he has left to give, this fight could interesting and entertaining to watch Facing a guy like Williams, who is in prime fighting shape, this might not be pretty for Wright, but I think it will be a good scrap.

Over the years with age, Wright has become more stationary and does not move like he used to. He stands there in front of his opponents with that turtle shell defense and throws punches. Williams is pretty offensive minded himself, so it's quite possible that this fight will be fought in telephone booth. Neither of these guys really have a reputation for hugging or holding. I look for this to be a battle of attrition, in which there are two solid fighters giving their greatest efforts to impose their wills in one another.

In his prime when he was more active and at his very best, one might say that Winky had the Wright style to trouble Williams. He's a slick defensive-minded southpaw by nature. Quintana, another southpaw who is more less a poor man's version of Wright, was able to outbox Williams and Quintana's defense is not as tight as Wright's. Having seen Wright in recent photos, he looks physically drawn and somewhat frail in his return to 160lbs after almost 2 years of inactivity. Williams, who has decent fire power, throws a lot of punches from different angles and also has advantages in size and reach, which served him well in the first 7 or 8 rounds when he masterfully outworked Antonio Margarito in July of 2007.

At this stage, looking at Wright and taking into account their activity and careers over the course of the past two years, I'd say Williams wins a clear decision in a fight in which the judges might have it scored a little closer than it really is.

In the televised co-feature, undefeated heavyweight contender Chris Arreola faces his stiffest test to date when he takes on three-time heavyweight title challenger Jameel McCline. McCline has been in the ring with a who's-who of heavyweights including Michael Grant, Shannon Briggs, Wladimir Klitschko, Chris Byrd, Calvin Brock, and Sam Peter just to name a few.

Having built a reputation as a veteran gatekeeper who's done just enough to lose competitively, McCline dropped Sam Peter three times in their fight in October of 2007. Peter went on to out hussle McCline and win the fight by a close decision. McCline has also dropped Chris Byrd and Calvin Brock, but also found himself on the losing end of those fights that ended in decisions. Arreola is a young contender who's had a tendency to come into his fight overweight and showed vulnerability in the early rounds of his last fight against Travis Walker. Walker knocked Arreola down in the 2nd round of their fight last November, but failed to capitalize on it as Arreola stopped Walker in the following round.

McCline can be dangerous early on, but Arreola is vulnerable early. It might take about five or six rounds for Arreola to even figure McCline out, if McCline brings his A-game to this fight. Arreola is not a one punch knockout artist and I don't recall McCline being taken out by one punch. If Arreola stops McCline, it'll probably be in the later rounds based on accumulation of punishment. In any case, I pick Arreola either by a late stoppage or a sloppy decision win.

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