Welshman Liam Williams faced a bad stroke of luck when he fought Liverpool man, Liam Smith having been badly cut by the left eye after being butted in the 9th round in their fight in April. It looked as if Williams was controlling the bout with his jab and selective combinations to the head before the fight took a turn for the worst for him and the fight had to be stopped due to the bad gash.
Now, the two will meet again on November 11th at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, and Williams will be determined to right a wrong! Last time, Smith failed to make the weight, coming in at 155.4lb. He was given an hour to come inside the light-middleweight limit but his body would not agree to. The WBO interim title was at stake for both boxers but Smith was not allowed to win the title, should he have won the bout. He did.
Although Smith won, he surely cannot take any confidence from that win. Even he knows inside that surely his victory was due to unfortunate circumstances for his opponent. Williams was outboxing and outworking him and was rarely allowed to get going. In the rematch, he should pay special attention to the body of Williams. He had brief success when he landed some hooks to that point of him. Williams dropped his hands during the moments when he had to take those, so following up with combinations upstairs would surely do damage. And although it is not in him to do so, more lateral movement instead of standing square on would give Williams something to think about.
For Williams, doing more of the same that he did in their first fight would probably still work in his favour. Some minor adjustments that he could make are not to get involved in making the fight a war. Smith would attempt to rough him up during the clinches, and it was during one of them moments when the cut occurred to seal the fight’s fate. Landing more to the body would also be a good idea since Smith held his guard up a little too high, leaving space for punches to score under his elbows.
Although Liam Smith took a TKO win, it is highly possible that their November bout will go the full 36 minutes. Their styles asked that the two boxers resort to their technical abilities, the type of fight that is normally appreciated more by the sport’s most dedicated. However, the build up now has become a little heated, with the two boxers exchanging words designed to mentally harm the other at their press conference. The casuals seem to love that sort of thing. At least none of the friction between them should stoop as low as the type of juvenile guff that was voiced between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor several weeks ago.
In terms of motivation, as well as desiring to make sure there the fight does not pivot like last time, the prospect of fighting for the WBO world title will surely fuel Williams even more. And Smith will want his old crown back.