Paul Williams, the always exciting, ever-smiling boxer known as "The Punisher," and long considered one of the most avoided fighters in the sport, faces the toughest battle of his life after being paralyzed from the waist down during a motorcycle crash in suburban Atlanta on Sunday morning.
He severed his spinal cord after falling on his back and head when he was thrown from his motorcycle after swerving to avoid an oncoming car, his trainer and manager, George Peterson, said.
"From the waist down, he has absolutely no movement," Peterson told the Associated Press. "He's in very good spirits, though. He still believes he's going to fight again."
However, doctors have said Williams will not walk again. He is listed in serious but stable condition and will undergo surgery on Wednesday to stabilize his upper body.
Williams' accident is the second tragedy in the boxing world during the holiday weekend, the traditional kickoff of summer. Former five-time world champion Johnny Tapia, who suffered through a brutal upbringing, and later from drug addiction and depression throughout his career, was found dead in his home at the age of 45 on Sunday night.