Here we go again. The battle of two of Britain’s up and coming boxing superstars, both named Liam.
Liam Smith and Liam Williams will square off again after their thrilling first encounter ended in controversy. The two will lock horns one more time at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, England on November 11th, 2017 in what the WBO has announced as a title eliminator for their 154-pound belt.
Smith and Williams engaged in a dogfight last April at the Manchester Arena in England. The bout came to a sudden end after Liam Williams was pulled from the bout after nine rounds because of an eye injury. It was a sorry loss for Williams who was up by one point in all three of the judges scorecards.
Because of the unfortunate ending, an immediate rematch between the two was set and it was initially penciled for October 28th, 2017. But with heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua fighting on that same date, the Liams agreed to move their fight to November 11th, 2017 and settle their dispute once again inside the ring.
Their first bout was for the WBO 154-pound title but Smith did not win it because he failed to make the junior middleweight limit of 154 pounds during the weigh-ins. Instead, the title was disputed by Miguel Cotto and Yoshihiro Kamegai last August. Cotto won it and will defend the crown against Sadam Ali on December 2nd. As this bout is a title eliminator, the winner between Smith and Williams will fight for the title next.
The WBO title once belonged to Liam Smith before he was beaten by Saul Canelo Alvarez. Liam Williams, meanwhile, is the British and Commonwealth 154-pound champion and the 2016 Young Boxer of the Year by the British Boxing Writers association. He is looking for his first world title and once again, that road leads to Liam Smith.
Loser is Favorite
Despite losing their first encounter, Liam Williams is the slight favorite here at -120, while Liam Smith is at even money +100. If not for that eye injury, Liam Williams would’ve likely won that fight on points. Williams looked too sharp for Smith in the early goings and kept his more experienced opponent off him with laser jabs.
Don’t forget that Williams had his best round of the fight in Round 8 before the accidental clash of heads in Round 9 forced the Williams corner to step in and save their fighter’s eye from further damage. To his credit, Smith fought back and turned it into a bloody brawl before the accidental headbutt occurred.
We know how tough a veteran Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith is and we acknowledge him being a former world champion. But Liam Smith is probably the best 154-pounder in England right now. He has the skills and power to be a world champion.
Again, Williams has the better jab and more powerful punches. Those should be the key. Barring any unfortunate injury in the rematch, Liam Williams should exact revenge on Liam Smith. Williams by unanimous decision or late knockout.