Posted in: Boxing News

Liam Smith vs Liam Williams Preview and Prediction (Plus Undercard)

Bitter feuds often come from a duo of characters equipped with brash statements, or a combination of the easily offended and the expert in insults.

But in this case on Saturday night, the two Liams, Smith and Williams, are similar for their inner self belief and hard-knock attitude.

Yet the pair have traded jibes since the announcement of their first meeting in April. And the inconclusive result of a bitter and bloody contest has only ignited the dislike between the two fighters.

For Williams 16-1-1(11KO’s), it was a first defeat, and a tough one to take.

The corner retirement after 9 rounds, led to Smith claiming to have broken the Welshman’s large heart in a fight that Williams was leading when a dreadful cut led to a compassionate decision from head trainer Gary Lockett.

But the fast growth of the 25-year old Williams was highlighted as he rose to come within 3 rounds of potentially beating a man that had recently been relieved of his WBO Light Middleweight title.

Williams had his rise stalled by injuries, but since claiming the British title in emphatic fashion, nearly two years ago, he has not looked back, and once again is on the brink of moving into the title picture of one of boxing’s hottest divisions.

But the 29-year old Smith 25-1-1(14KO’s), is far from done dealing with the elite at 154lbs.

He was beaten by one of the best in Canelo Alvarez last year, and sees a more comprehensive win over Williams as the quick route back to those big nights in the USA.

But the Liverpudlian must not look beyond a Williams that looked in control for much of the first 6 rounds last time they fought.

At the unusual location of Newcastle, the rivalry may not be quashed entirely.

These two have tossed insults that will not merely be swept under the ring apron after they complete yet another brutal contest.

And there similarities in levels, should see another razor tight, edge of your seat, contest with the winner elated, and the loser desperate for a trilogy.

Expect another thriller in the North East, with Williams yet again in the ascendancy early on. His work rate will not differ from last time out – with the confidence that he can make the 12-round distance at such a pace.

Smith will remain cool under pressure, slowly edging forward at angles to force Williams into more movement than he would otherwise prefer.

Yet again the Smith engine will begin roaring after round 4 or 5 and this is where scoring the fight becomes a challenge.

Williams will only increase his output, while Smith bullies his way forward, seemingly looking the one more at ease with how the contest is unfolding.

That emotional body language from Williams, may have been the reason that the contest was closer than some had it last time around, and could allow Smith to draw level on the judges’ cards at around the 10th in the rematch.

By this stage, the two will be running on fumes as they both look to establish dominance in the championship rounds.

Again Williams will come with the cleaner work, but the high octane punch output from Smith will ruffle the feathers of the Welshman and sway the scoring officials late on.

Contrasting emotions will explode from both corners, as Smith is declared the winner via split decision, giving him a 2-0 lead in a potentially unfinished series.

Smith and Williams are not the only fighters with emotions at boiling point.

Middlesbrough’s Josh Leather will be hoping he can do as his football team did last weekend and beat the experienced Glenn Foot from Sunderland.

It was no shock that these North East rivals would come to trading words ahead of what is a pivotal contest for both.

Leather 12-0(6KO’s) is the younger and the fresher, still confident following a stoppage of Philip Sutcliffe Jr last time out.

Meanwhile Foot 21-2(6KO’s) has to rebuild from a points loss at home to the slick Akeem Ennis Brown in July.

Leather is the prospect here with something to prove, but Foot has seen so many styles in his accomplished career, and he will not be fazed by what Leather brings in this 12-rounder.

Temptation is to side with a slight upset, thanks to the engine and aggression of Foot. But the pick is for Leather to be rewarded for a fast start and credible boxing from the outside, as he makes Foot look wild at times, before taking the win on the cards.

It has taken some time for Thomas Patrick Ward 21-0(2KO’s) to eke out of the shadows in the Super Bantamweight division, but he now faces a second tough assignment in a British title contest.

Last time out he came away as a technical decision winner over James ‘Jazza’ Dickens, and will now meet the high volume Brummie, Sean Davis.

Davis 13-1(0KO’s) has wins over Jason Booth and Paul Economides, while proving his resilience as well as flashes of his offence against the touted Gamal Yafai, before he was stopped in the 7th.

It is another potentially tight contest that could see the visitor forcing an upset. But again the pick is for the favourite (Ward) to come out on top after a thoroughly entertaining 12-rounds, worthy of the Lord Lonsdale belt on the line.

Mark Heffron could make a statement if he manages to halt the capable Lewis Taylor 19-4-1(3KO’s). But with only 8 rounds to do so expect an enjoyable but comfortable points triumph for Heffron 17-0(13KO’s).

A pair of unbeaten fighters meet in a very well matched 10 rounder at 140lbs. Jeff Saunders 11-0(6KO’s) can be the one to follow up a KO of Chris Truman with another stoppage over Steven Lewis 14-0(8KO’s).

The prospect of Ricky Hatton trained Nathan Gorman rolls in to Newcastle as the Heavyweight looks to add another stoppage to his record.

At 21-years old, Gorman 10-0(8KO’s) has plenty to improve on and can look to start on those improvements when he halts Mohamed Soltby 13-0(8KO’s) in the second half of this 10-round international contest.

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