To many boxing purists, Paul Williams is poetry in motion. The 30-year-old was a two-time World Boxing Organization Welterweight Champion
"Paul is a very slick and very agile fighter. He is an animal in the ring," said Johny Gant, who used to train Williams.
Williams, an Augusta native, is in the fight of his life. Marietta police say Sunday morning he lost control of his motorcycle and crashed near South Marietta Parkway and Atlanta Road. Doctors say he severed his spinal cord and is paralyzed.
"I am sorry that it happened," Gant said.
Gant says the lanky fighter used to train in his gym and Gant says he was in William's corner when he won the title. Gant says Williams is one of the good guys in the brutal and often dirty sport.
"He has donated money to certain organizations as far as helping young kids that came out of the same position he came out of," Gant said.
Calvin Shakir used to train with Williams and the two had the same manager.
"This is just a shock to the boxing world," Shakir said. "He is just real quiet and humble, that is the only thing I know of him. You hear some guys get arrogant, real cocky or whatever this guy he just always remained the same, real quiet," said Shakir.
Williams was scheduled to fight in Las Vegas in the fall. It was billed as a chance to re-ignite his career following a loss and two unimpressive wins. That fight has been canceled, but friends say Williams' spirit and drive will prevail.
"With support and prayer I think he can make a speedy recovery," said Gant.
"I think he can probably pull it through if he puts his mind to it and does what needs to be done," said Shakir.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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