After a reasonably amicable press tour, the armistice is over and an almost inevitable war of words has broken out between the rival camps of Liam Williams and Liam Smith ahead of their sure to be combustible super-welter showdown at Manchester Arena on April 8th.
Ex WBO king Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith is smoldering from the insinuation yesterday that, at 28, he is now damaged goods following his valiant defeat to ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in September, the only reverse on his 25 fight resume. Speaking to Glynn Evans, the Mersey mouth responded:
‘As we’ve no more press conferences scheduled for a few months, I want a right of reply to that [expletive] Gary Lockett put out yesterday.
He was a TV pundit for my fight against ‘Canelo’ and he told all the viewers how well I done. So he’s either a [expletive] pundit who misleads the viewers or he’s trying to play mind games. If he thought I took a beating from ‘Canelo’, he doesn’t understand boxing. That’s certainly not what he said at the time.
Like I said at both the press conferences this week, Liam Williams is like a lost little boy without Lockett whispering in his ear. If they think that they can get into my head by spouting [expletive], if Lockett and Liam Williams think they can compete with myself and Joe Gallagher when it comes to mind games, they’re living in a dream world. Bring it on. We all know Liam Williams hasn’t got the coolest head. What’s Lockett playing at. Professional suicide.’
Super-Welterweight rivals Liam Smith and Liam Williams clash in one of the most anticipated domestic dust-ups in recent times on a show headlined by Terry Flanagan defending his WBO World Lightweight Title against tough Petr Petrov. Slick South African Zolani Tete faces Arthur Villanueva in a final eliminator for the WBO World Bantamweight strap; double Olympic Gold Medallist and women’s boxing icon Nicola Adams OBE fights for the first time as a professional and former Team GB Heavyweight monster Daniel Dubois makes his highly-anticipated professional debut along with a talent packed undercard.
Tickets for April 8 priced £50, £70, £100, £150, £200, £300 and VIP £500 are available from eventim at www.eventim.co.uk and 0844 249 1000 and the Manchester Arena at www.manchester-arena.com and 0844 847 8000.
Liam Smith and Liam Williams preparing for April 8 fight
Fierce Super-Welterweight rivals Liam Smith and Liam Williams faced-off at a press conference held at the iconic Royal Liver Building in Liverpool today ahead of their mouth-watering showdown on Saturday 8th April at the Manchester Arena, live on BT Sport and BoxNation.
Former WBO World 154lbs Champion Smith was in a supremely confident mood and promised to put the Boxing Writers’ Best Young Boxer of the Year ‘in his place’ when they lock horns in April.
“This is a fight that I’m well up for”, said Smith. “Frank and a lot of other people are getting excited about Liam Williams and talking about him as the next big thing. My job is to put him back in his place and remind everyone who the best fighter in the division is.
“They’re barking up the wrong tree if they think they can make me lose my cool like Corcoran did. I don’t need to wind him up, I can end this fight however I like. If I want to drag Liam into a fight I’ll do that. Liam is a more talented fighter than Jimmy Kelly but I can see April 8th ending in a similar fashion to that fight.”
Williams, the British and WBO European Champion, is undefeated in 17 professional fights and will head into the Smith bout on a six-fight knockout streak. The rising-star of Welsh boxing believes he has the power to stop his Frank Warren stablemate.
“Smith is a couple of levels above my previous opponents,” admitted Williams. “We’re going to work on his weaknesses and not give too much away. Of course I believe I possess the power to stop him but this fight won’t just be about landing that one big shot.
“I think this is going to be a tactical fight. Everyone seems to think we are going to meet head on in the middle of the ring but I’ve got a good boxing brain on me. I’ve shown I’m capable of mixing it up and I know I have the tools to beat him.”
Smith vs. Williams is part of an unmissable evening of action at the Manchester Arena on April 8th; local hero Terry Flanagan makes the fifth defence of his WBO World Lightweight crown against dangerous Russian Petr Petrov; slick South African Zolani Tete faces Arthur Villanueva in a final eliminator for the WBO World Bantamweight strap ; double Olympic Gold Medallist and women’s boxing icon Nicola Adams OBE fights for the first time as a professional and former Team GB Heavyweight monster Daniel Dubois makes his highly-anticipated professional debut.
Elsewhere on the card former World Title challenger Jimmy Kelly takes on Bolton man Rick Godding in a tasty local tear-up; rising Super-Featherweight star Zelfa Barrett fights over six; Liverpool Super-Welterweight James Metcalf takes on Heywood’s Mark Thompson; undefeated Super-Lightweight Steven Lewis faces Andy Keates; Oldham Super-Middleweight Mark Heffron, Ellesmere Port Super-Welterweight Mason Cartwright, Manchester Cruiserweight Jordan Thompson and Super-Middleweight Anthony Leak complete a stacked card.
Liam Smith with tough opponent in Liam Williams
Lauded Welsh trainer Gary Lockett feels that the momentum is with his man, reigning British champ Liam Williams, ahead of the unmissable super-welter set-to against former WBO boss Liam Smith at Manchester Arena on April 8th.
Twenty-four year old Williams from Clydach Vale in the Rhondda valley is presently unbeaten in 17 (one draw) and improving with every outing, whilst the Merseysider resurfaces following a ballsy but ultimately brutal knockout loss to elite Mexican ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Speaking with Glynn Evans, ‘The Rocket Man’, himself a former world middleweight title challenger, questions whether ‘Beefy’ might be damaged goods as he enters the most eagerly anticipated domestic 154lb dual since Ryan Rhodes met Jamie Moore in 2009.
Lockett says: “Liam Smith is easily the best opponent my kid has faced. He has exceptional shot selection and is more defensively adept than Williams. Smith can be a little lazy when he’s on the outside, preferring to use his feet and decent head movement to work close, where he appears more comfortable.
‘Beefy’ is a very good body puncher; a master at that left hook behind the elbow. My Liam must be wary of that, and he will be. A bit of fear will hopefully encourage him to use his own attributes a bit better. There’s ways and means to apply our pressure. Expect Williams to be more switched on mentally than he’s ever been.
What does ‘Beefy’ not do so well? That’d be telling!
It’s true Liam Williams has stopped his last eight – four in title fights – so we’re on a roll but, to be fair, Liam Smith was on a very similar run before ‘Canelo’ halted his momentum.
It’s hard to say what the effects of that conclusive loss to ‘Canelo’ will be on ‘Beefy’. Liam (Smith) claims he learnt a lot but, when you get badly beaten up, it doesn’t instill confidence, does it? It’s also possible he could react like a wounded tiger. We’ll have to wait and see.”
Super-Welterweight rivals Liam Smith and Liam Williams provide chief-support on April 8th in one of the most anticipated domestic dust-ups in recent times; WBO Lightweight boss Terry Flanagan tops the bill with his fifth defence against danger man Petr Petrov; slick South African Zolani Tete faces Arthur Villanueva in a final eliminator for the WBO World Bantamweight strap; double Olympic Gold Medallist and women’s boxing icon Nicola Adams OBE fights for the first time as a professional and former Team GB Heavyweight monster Daniel Dubois makes his highly-anticipated professional debut along with a talent-packed card of local talent.
Tickets for April 8 priced £50, £70, £100, £150, £200, £300 and VIP £500 are available from eventim at www.eventim.co.uk and 0844 249 1000 and the Manchester Arena at www.manchester-arena.com and 0844 847 8000