Championship boxer Paul “The Punisher” Williams has been left paralyzed after being involved in a motorcycle crash in Atlanta.

The former two-time WBO welterweight champion’s manager George Peterson told ESPN:

They’re saying he won’t walk again or box again. Paul is in denial right now. It’s been that way with him. You tell him he can’t or won’t do something, and he wants to prove you different. So whatever the doctors say, he’s not listening. But they say that walking and boxing is not going to happen.”

According to published reports, the accident happened in Atlanta at around 8 am on Sunday morning (May 27) when Williams was riding his motorcycle to his brother’s home to prepare for their brother’s wedding.

Peterson says Williams rode his bike out of his lane to avoid a car that was merging, but another car came out of nowhere from the opposite direction. He then swerved to avoid the oncoming car, but lost control of his motorcycle after he rode up an embankment.

Williams reportedly “flew several feet in the air” before crashing onto the pavement. He was immediately rushed to the hospital where he was treated for his injuries, including unrepairable damage to his spinal cord.

MyFox Atlanta reports that the 30-year-old boxer will undergo surgery Wednesday (May 30) to stabilize the area below his spinal cord that allows him to move his hands, arms, torso and head. Doctors have told him that he will never walk or box again, as the part of his spinal cord that allows for lower body movement was damaged beyond repair.

George Peterson told reporters that Williams wasn’t in pain, and he was in good spirits, telling jokes.

Paul Williams was considered one of the best boxers in the world for a number of years, with a record of 41-2 with 27 knockouts. He had just signed a deal last week to fight Mexican star and super-welterweight world champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on September 17th in Las Vegas.

Be the first to receive breaking news alerts and more stories like this by subscribing to our mailing list.