Boxing champ Paul Williams paralyzed in motorcycle accident, manager says
Paul Williams has held three boxing title belts.
May 29th, 2012
05:53 AM ET

Boxing champ Paul Williams paralyzed in motorcycle accident, manager says

Boxer Paul Williams, known as "The Punisher," has been left paralyzed from the waist down after a traffic accident Sunday in suburban Atlanta, according to news reports.

Williams' manager, George Peterson, told CNN affiliate WRDW in Augusta, Georgia, that the boxer is facing surgery Wednesday to stabilize his spinal column. That surgery will entail putting a wall around his upper spine, according to the report.

Williams is from Aiken, South Carolina, east of Augusta.

He was in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta to attend his brother's wedding on Monday, according to a report in the New York Daily News.

As he rode his motorcycle home from a bachelor party early Sunday, he swerved to a avoid a car and was thrown from the bike more than 60 feet in the air, Peterson told the Daily News.

“He was doing about 75 mph on the motorcycle. When he came down, he came down on his back and when he came down on his back, of course he severed his spinal cord. He’s paralyzed from the waist down. In terms of him walking again... that will never happen,” the Daily News quoted Peterson as saying.

Williams has a career record of 41-2-0, with 27 knockouts, according to the WRDW report. He has held three title belts, twice being the WBO welterweight champ and once as the WBO light middleweight champ.

He was scheduled to fight Saul Alvarez for the WBC light middleweight title in September, according to the media reports.

Peterson told the Daily News that despite his condition Williams was upbeat.

“It’s the same old Paul,” the Daily News quoted Peterson as saying. “As I was walking out of the door to talk to you, he said, ‘Believe me, if I don’t ever box again, I’m going to do some stand-up comedy.’ He’s not suffering.”

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Filed under: Boxing • Georgia • South Carolina • Sports
soundoff (159 Responses)
  1. Skeptic10787

    Despite the common dramatic effect of claiming "the doctors said he will never walk again", doctors rarely actually say that, simply because nothing is certain immediately after the injury. Similar to the popular stories like "the paramedics said I would have died if I was wearing my seatbelt" or "my heart stopped 3 times but they brought me back, then I walked out of the hospital an hour later", they're all really just dramatic exaggerations. Its possible he won't ever walk again, but it's also possible they're just saying that to make his future "miraculous recovery" more exciting.

    May 29, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • NotARealDoctor

      Unfortunately, a severed spinal cord means he won't walk again. We don't have the capability to repair it. His doctors no doubt told him exactly that.

      May 29, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Pretty sure

      I think that a SEVERED spinal cord would equal a confident diagnosis of not walking again. That's not exactly going out on a limb. Read more carefully. Nobody is looking for a miracle recovery later just a realistic expectation now. Dope.

      May 29, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Me

      (chuckles) Television is not real. Take some time to think about that. This man's injury is in the real world, not the make believe world.

      May 29, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • peridot2

      There's no hope if his cord is severed, Skeptic. When people walk again it's because their cord was injured or bruised. Severed means separated completely. There is no fix for that and there likely won't be one for a long time...nerves grow from point to point and there's no coax cable for spinal cord.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Saboth

    75 mph (probably faster) in a suburb. Showing off and got paralyzed. Maybe one day these guys on sport bikes will realize no one is impressed by their accelerating from 0-100 in 6 seconds

    May 29, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • donny

      Saboth, i really do no not think these guys going fast on bikes are trying to impress anyone, its about the rush, somewhat like extreme sports, only illegal and more dangerous.

      May 29, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Lars Babaganoosh

    He's better off, boxing is a dying sport.

    May 29, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Dee

    Sometimes the price of fearlessness is very high. Sad. Prayers for him, his family and loved ones.

    May 29, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Lars Babaganoosh

    And boxings' five remaining fans shed a tear...

    May 29, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • tracy

      do you have to be a boxing fan or a member of the boxing community to care ? I hate football but when I hear about some kid paralyzed I care.

      May 29, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. kookoobear

    Anybody that gets on a motor cycle knows the risk. I can't feel sorry for him are anybody that gets hurt or killed when riding a motor cycle. Their choice. The odds are not in their favor.

    May 29, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • evelyn2

      So if you smoke, drink, eat meat, breathe bad air, etc., and get cancer, heart disease, or something else, no one should feel sorry for you. Hey, you knew the risks.

      What compassion!

      May 29, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jfis42

    So if the speed limit was in fact 35, then clearly he was taking his life into his own hands. As a motorcycle rider myself, I will say that cars don't care that we're around... they change lanes like they own the road, regardless of where I am. I think all this "the odds are not in their favor" or "if you ride a motorcycle, it's already your fault" stuff is garbage. Learn to share the road.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • So silly

      It isn't about "sharing the road." YOU should learn that if you go motorcycle vs. car OR motorcycle vs. fixed object OR even motorcycle vs. hitting the pavement at virtually any speed, your odds suck. So get that chip off your shoulder and check into some statistics. You want to ride a motorcycle, enjoy it while you can. Every ride might be your last – your odds of dying on that are significantly higher than mine are dying in my car – and those are pretty high!

      May 29, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • pete

      The problem isn't with cars changing lanes, it's with motorcycles driving too fast, changing lanes, and coming up on you faster than you would anticipate given the speed limit. Why don't people understand that when you drive significantly faster than the rest of the traffic, reaction time is decreased significantly for both yourself and the other drivers around you. Stay in your lane, drive the speed limit, and live. My car will go faster than your little crotch rocket, but I don't feel the need to prove it every day on the road. Why do motorcyclists feel like the do???

      May 29, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • MJB

      As a motorcycle rider I completely agree!

      May 29, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Jfis42

      @sosilly It is absolutely about sharing the road. When I go out on my bike, I make a point to follow the traffic laws – you won't find me weaving in and out of traffic and going 40 over the speed limit. That being said, I expect those of you in cars to pay attention to what's around you. My first time on the highway a car got directly beside me, then moved over. Was I doing anything wrong? Don't think so. Should that car have been sharing the road? You bet. Get off your high horse and quit lumping all riders in together. My "share the road" chip will remain on my shoulder. Thanks. Be aware of what's around you.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. mikebo

    Driving that fast can only lead to something bad.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Portak

    Some of you really amaze me, so far, we have one who thinks motorcycles are dumb, so a man deserves to be hurt, and one who thinks boxing is dumb, so a man deserves to be hurt.....The ignorance of some people...

    May 29, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Chris

    What a shame.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Hadenuffyet

    ‘Believe me, if I don’t ever box again, I’m going to do some stand-up comedy.’....Uhhh, I don't think standing is an option.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • twirtzy

      I see you didn't get his joke..

      May 29, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  12. punctuation police

    Daniel – the period is our friend. Learn to use them. They make for significantly more coherent thoughts when trying to express ideas.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. mw-maryland

    Yeah when they show your face!

    May 29, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. samchugh

    I feel for the man, and pray for him and his family, but why the hell was he doing 75mph in a suburb? That was absolutely irresponsible and reckless. He is lucky he is the only one that got hurt, and that he’s alive at all, albeit paralyzed. That ridiculous amount of speed divided his response time and multiplied the severity of his injuries.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Wanda

    Motorcycles! You're either gonna get killed or maimed. No thanks.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse | Reply
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