Welsh trainer, Gary Lockett, believes that all the momentum is with his fighter, Liam Williams, ahead of his exciting super-welterweight clash with former WBO champion, Liam “Beefy” Smith, at Manchester Arena on April 8th.
Williams remains unbeaten in 17 professional contests and is evolving every time he steps into the ring, however, Lockett feels Smith may not be the same fighter after being knocked out by Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
“Liam Smith is easily the best opponent my kid has faced,” said Lockett. “He has an 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 are 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 instil confidence, does it? It’s also possible he could react like a wounded tiger. We’ll have to wait and see.”
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.