Liam Williams is in London and on a mission to take Hamzah Sheeraz’s position as Britain’s man most likely. So far, Sheeraz (18-0, 14 KO’s) has looked every inch a future world champion but Williams (25-4-1, 20 KO’s) looks like providing the unbeaten middleweight with the sternest examination yet of his title credentials when they meet at the Copperbox Arena on Saturday night. In 2018 the former super welterweight world title challenger stepped up to the 160lb division and wreaked havoc. He won the British title by stopping the previously unbeaten Mark Heffron and blazed his way to a challenge for Demetrius Andrade’s WBO middleweight belt.
The Welshman’s hot streak came to an end when he suffered a decision defeat at the hands of Andrade in April 2021 and ten months later he was under par when losing another decision, this time to Chris Eubank Jnr. Since then he has racked up two quick wins but it could be argued that his last meaningful win was a fifth round stoppage of Alantez Fox back in December 2019. It is clear to see why Williams has been chosen but he sees this as the first step on the climb to the top for himself rather than a desperate final shot to stay in contention. “Good for them, I couldn’t give a f— what they’ve got me,” Williams said at todays press conference when told the event sponsors have him as a 7/2 underdog. “I’ve trained my nuts off. I’m ready. If I’m not ready now, I never will be. I feel like I’ve turned back the clock a little bit and I’ve got the killer instinct back. I’m really digging in and want to be the best. “Personally, I think it’s a bad mistake. They’ve bought me in to get beaten by this guy. He’s very good, he’s talented. He’s obviously big for the weight. The list goes on really but I don’t think I’m the right guy for the job. I think you’ve bought in the wrong guy.”
Williams can be a fiery character but the buildup to this fight has been extremely respectful. Sheeraz is well aware of the threat Williams is capable of posing when he is at his best and for his part, Williams has made no effort to hide or play down the danger posed by a 6ft 3in tall talented fighter with knockout power in each hand. The fight was initially scheduled to take place last November but was pushed back after Sheeraz suffered a perforated eardrum in sparring. Before the fight was postponed, Williams did reveal that he had envisioned knocking out Sheeraz. He doubled down on that statement today and believes that the delay and the one round of target practice he enjoyed against Florin Cardos int he meantime has made him even more dangerous. “Yeah. It’s still the same view and vision from me. I think I’m gonna stop him. I give him his credit. He’s a quality fighter and I’ve been quite impressed with himself. Fair play to him but I just think the timing’s wrong,” he said. “I have seen a couple of things about who people would like to see him fight after this. It hasn’t even happened yet. [Nathan] Heaney, [Liam] Smith, [Chris] Eubank Jnr. I’m thinking ‘What the f— are these guy’s talking about? He hasn’t beaten me yet and he’s not going to.’ “We’ll see how that plays out on Saturday night.”