Why Paul Williams will win: Williams is a world champion, a highly skilled boxer, and a fantastic physical specimen. He punches with unusual power for a man so rail-thin and possessing such mobility, and his ring generalship is of the highest order. Williams obviously will have no trouble at all making the middleweight limit (160#), since he walks around (by most accounts) at about 163# in between fights, and should be very comfortable and well-conditioned at that weight.
Why Andy Kolle will win: The old “Puncher’s Chance” cliché isn’t just a cliché – it’s a reality. Any underdog only has to land one solid punch to change the course of a fight, one magic punch to win it. I’m not betting that Kolle will do so, but I’m not ruling it out as a possibility. The truth is, there are a million things that can go wrong with any well-laid plan. The supremely talented welterweight from Augusta, Georgia will be seeing punches come from a higher angle than he’s used to, from a bigger guy than he’s accustomed to fighting. Williams’ trainer, George Peterson, is quoted by Graham Houston saying that with more weight on Williams, “we’ve seen power…but less speed. When I say less speed, less mobility is what I want to say.” Peterson goes on to spin “less mobility” as a positive for his man, but with less mobility Williams will inevitably become an easier target to hit. A much-remarked-upon aspect of this move up in class for Williams is the disappearance of his usual height advantage. Williams inexplicably claimed during the preflight press-conference that he’s accustomed to fighting bigger men because “I’ve been in with bigger guys all my life,” but nothing could be further from the truth. Williams is always able to look down on his welterweight opponents, and it’s easier to throw volumes of punches downward than outward. The absence of his usual height advantage will require Williams to make certain adjustments against Kolle, while his defense may be compromised if he isn’t properly prepared for overhanded punches coming from a relatively tall opponent. If he does outbox Kolle, Williams may be tempted to open up on Kolle as the fight draws to a close, in an ego-soothing attempt for a knockout. Somewhere in this heap of rationalization lies the kernel of an advantage that Kolle will need to capitalize on. With strength, conditioning, and durability, Kaos might find a way.
The Fistic Mystic says: The text you have just read proves a fact of rhetoric: When a case is easily made, it can be made with few words. When a case is more difficult to make, it requires more words and extended logic. That’s why my rationalization of an Andy Kolle win is so much longer than the Paul Williams segment. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in Kaos. I’m hopeful that our eyes will see what so few imaginations have envisioned – a win for the underdog Minnesotan on the road. While the smart money will be on Paul Williams, the hometown fans will be cheering for their hometown hero. And that’s alright.