2015 Ring Magazine trainer of the year, Joe Gallagher, believes Liam Smith will emerge as the dominant domestic force at 154lbs when he goes head to head with the undefeated, Liam Williams, at the Manchester on April 8th.
“Come fight night, ‘Beefy’ just ‘switches on’. Pundits are always commenting on how he snarls and smiles at opponents, goads and baits them, whilst remaining calm himself,” said Gallagher. “If anyone tries roughing it, drops the nut in or lands a bollock shot, they can expect one back immediately. ‘Beefy’ just relishes fighting. He’d spar every day if I’d let him. He’s got a natural fighting mentality.
“Williams is a bit of a control freak but Smith’s a master at dictating the tempo. ‘Beefy’ is a very smart kid with regard to judging situations mid fight. He’s a thinking fighter who doesn’t need too much guidance from the corner. He sets plenty of traps.
“He’s very good at forcing opponents to do what they don’t want to do. Can Liam Williams box on the back foot? Does he have the boxing brain to sustain a plan for 12 rounds or will he revert to brawling when the heat’s turned up? We don’t know but we’ll definitely find out on 8th April.
“In his British title defence against Gary Corcoran, Williams got drawn in, fought with his heart and lost his composure. If it does get fractious in the pressers and media, ‘Beefy’ will thrive off that. He’s a good talker who doesn’t spout shite. He keeps it real and usually backs up what he says.”
Smith vs. Williams will serve as the co-feature to Terry Flanagan’s fifth defence of his WBO lightweight crown against Petr Petrov at Manchester Arena on April 8th.
Also on the undercard; exciting South African, Zolani Tete, faces Arthur Villanueva in a final eliminator for the WBO World Bantamweight crown; double Olympic gold medallist, Nicola Adams makes her professional debut and former Team GB heavyweight, Daniel Dubois also makes his professional debut.
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.