Liam “Beefy” Smith (26-1-1, 14 KOs) defeated Liam Williams (16-2-1, 11 KOs) by a 12 round majority decision on Saturday night in a WBO 154 lb. title eliminator in their rematch at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, England.
The judges seemed to favor Smith’s weaker punchers over the much harder shots that the 25-year-old Williams were landing in the fight. The scores were 117-111, 116-112 and 114-114. The 117-111 score was a real head shaker, as was the 116-112 score.
Williams landed the better shots in every round of the fight. Smith was landing more in most of the rounds, but he didn’t have anywhere near the same power on his shots as Williams. Boxing 247 scored the fight 116-112 for Williams. He was the stronger guy in the fight, and he did the far better work.
Smith was buzzed by a big right hand from Williams in round 10. Smith was constantly backed up by big punches from Williams in the round. Williams should have poured it on in the 11th and 12th, but he failed to capitalize on the situation. But with the way 2 of the judges scored the fight, Williams needed to do more than just win the 11th and 112th. He needed to score some knockdowns, and he couldn’t do that because he wasn’t throwing enough shots.
In rounds 11 and 12, Williams continued to land the bigger punches to dominate the action, and get the better of Smith. Again, the judges seemed to be more interested in the more frequent lighter punchers that Smith was landing rather than focusing on the bigger shots that Williams was connecting with in the fight.
Smith and Smith fought earlier this year on April 8th with Smith winning by a 9th round cut stoppage. Like tonight, Williams landed the harder shots and seemed to get the better of the action. Williams suffered a cut over his right eye that caused the fight to be halted.
There’s no word yet whether there will be a third fight between Smith and Williams. Smith will likely fight for the WBO junior middleweight title in his next fight after the current champion Miguel Cotto vacates his title after his title defense next month against welterweight Sadam Ali on December 2. Their fight is billed as the final one of Cotto’s career. Smith will be next in line to fight for Cotto’s WBO belt after he gives it up. If Cotto had kept it, Smith would have a difficult time trying to beat him for it. Cotto is still fighting at a high level, and he would likely beat Smith.