HBO changes mind on Williams-Ishida

Just days after green-lighting the proposed Paul

Williams-Nobuhiro Ishida bout for Williams’ comeback July 9,

the network has changed its mind and is now rejecting the

155-poundcatchweight contest.

Rumors abound that HBO was feeling the pressure from a negative

initial public reaction to the fight and, at a time when HBO Boxing

execs are rumored to be on a short leash for poor matchmaking

efforts, they opted to withdraw their support.

A more likely reason, though, is that Williams-Ishida

would’ve been directly up against a decidedly more

fan-friendly card on Showtime, featuring Brandon Rios-Urbano

Antillon and Kermit Cintron-Carlos Molina

As of now, the July 9 date is still Williams’ but the

lanky southpaw from Georgia will have to find a new, presumably

more fan-friendly opponent.