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Smith and Williams face-off at first press conference in Liverpool

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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.

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“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.

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“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.

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.

Smith and Williams face the Welsh media at a press conference tomorrow at the Cardiff City Hall (12.30pm start)

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