It’s Liam verus Liam on April 8th at England’s Manchester Arena when former WBO super welterweight champion Liam Smith tests the unbeaten British and Commonwealth super welterweight title holder Liam Williams in the co-main event of Terry Flanagan’s 5th title defense against Petr Petrov.
A New Era
Dubbed as ‘A New Era’, Liam vs. Liam features two of England’s best 154-pounders. Smith was the former WBO world champion before losing to Canelo Alvarez by 9th round TKO in September 2016. Smith returned to action on March 18th and won a 4-round bout against Marian Cazacu in Spain. He will be fighting on back to back months.
Williams won the British and Commonwealth 154-pound titles by stopping Gary Corcoran at the Wales Ice Rink in July of 2016. He is coming off a November victory over Gabor Gorbics. For his achievements last year, the undefeated Williams was named as the British Boxing Writers Young Boxer of the Year for 2016.
Incidentally, Smith and Williams are the #1 and #2 super welterweights in Britain, respectively so bragging rights is an added prize aside from the WBO European belt which will will be on the line when these two collide on April 8th.
Odds and Prediction
Manchester Arena will definitely be fully packed for this contest because many British boxing fans consider this to be a truly 50/50 bout. The odds currently say that Williams is a -125 and set Smith at even money at +100.
It may look interesting that the young up and comer is favored over the more experienced former world champion but Liam Williams may be the best super welterweight in Britain today. The 24-year old Welshman is a very accurate puncher who possesses a very strong right uppercut. At 5’10”, he’s got good size and length. Williams also comes in on fire, having won his last 8 bouts by stoppage.
Smith ,meanwhile, has a polished offensive game and throws very good combinations. Smith has a balanced head and body attack and while he may not have the same power as Williams but eight of his last wins have come via knockout. The one big concern here is that he will be fighting in back to back months which is always risky. No question that his last bout was just a four rounder but the quick turnaround could backfire against a talented blue-chip contender who has all the motives to beat him.
We’re picking Liam Williams to win here because he’s got the better jab and the heavier hands. Smith may appear to be much more experienced but in reality, his resume isn’t that good. So get your popcorn ready. This should be a good one but we expect Williams to remain undefeated.