Paul Williams, 30, a middleweight boxer known as “The Punisher,” (pictured above with son Paul Williams Jr.) now faces a challenge of a very different kind after a motorcycle crash in Atlanta Sunday (May 28) that has left him paralyzed.
His manager George Peterson tells the AP that Williams was riding his motorcycle to his brother’s wedding when he swerved to avoid an oncoming car and was thrown from the bike. The fall severed his spinal cord.
“From the waist down, he has absolutely no movement. He’s in very good spirits, though. He still believes he’s going to fight again,” says Peterson.”
Williams is listed in serious but stable condition and will undergo surgery on Wednesday to help stabilize his upper body. But doctors say he will not walk again.
His next scheduled fight was for the WBC light middleweight title on Sept. 15 in Las Vegas against Mexican boxer Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, but that event has been canceled.
Petersen says he believes Williams will make a statement after his surgery on Wednesday.
The outpouring of support has already started from fans and fellow boxers alike.
Oscar de la Hoya, president of the promotions company that manages Alvarez, tweets, “To Paul williams.On behalf of my family and I, stay strong my friend
hang on to the love of your family,our hearts and prayers are with u.”
And Pawel Wolak, a Polish boxer who lives in the U.S., tweets, “If Paul Williams doesnt walk again I know he will be even a bigger
champion outside of the ring as he was inside. He will motivate others.”