Paul Williams, the 30-year old professional fighter, is already sliding himself in and out of his bed and taking on daily tasks with the same gusto he approached the duels in the ring.
He suffered a spinal cord injury on May 27 in a motorcycle accident here and the odds are against him ever walking again, but Williams has given the impression he is as tough to beat out of the ring as he was in it.
In a press conference here Wednesday morning at the Shepherd Center, Williams’ trainer, George Peterson, and Dr. Donald Peck Leslie, the Shepherd medical director, said Williams has been so spirited he asked for a “mitt man” as part of his rehabilitation so he can continue to throw punches.
Williams was not available to comment.
Leslie said Williams’ will stay at Shepherd four-to-six weeks to learn how to do everyday tasks and manage his life with the injury. Leslie said it is still too early to tell if Williams will ever walk again.
Peterson, who has trained Williams since the fighter was 16 years old, said there has been an outpouring of support from the boxing community with calls from Japan, South Africa, England, and all over the U.S. Williams’ nickname is “The Punisher.” The last fight of his career was to be September 15 against super welterweight champion Saul Alavrez in Las Vegas.
Williams, a southpaw known as a brawler, was 41-2 in the ring.
Source: Ray Glier, USA Today