Saturday night will showcase an intriguing encounter between the experienced scouse star Liam Smith and the Impressive Welsh wrecking ball Liam Williams in what promises to be a fascinating shootout for the WBO Super-Welterweight interim title.
In the wake of the Welsh and Liverpool invasion, both have put forth their views on the reasoning behind their opinion of being the best Super Welterweight in the Uk with the boxing community split on their own views of a winner.
So this week we decided to dust off a once regular segment of our site, Pick Em Friday making an appearance, asking the question to some of boxing’s most knowledgeable.
TopClassBoxing / Media
Paul J Daley – TopClassBoxing – Williams TKO 10 Smith – Well what we do know is that Liam will be victorious come Saturday night, the more difficult question is which one?
The fight has been set on a collision course for quite some time, Smith for a long time has looked down on Williams due to his status as a leading figure in the division whilst taking the WBO title, a lot has changed since that time after a hot night in Texas brought him back down a level courtesy of the hard hitting hands of a Red-headed Mexican.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez welcomed Smith to the elite level by bullying the Liverpudlian for the duration of the contest before putting a full stop to his title defence with a ninth round stoppage, a rude awakening to his only foray into the elite level waters.
Williams in the mean time, in contrast, has looked formidable in handing stoppage losses to both Gary Cocoran and Gabor Gorbics in taking the WBO European strap which meant the fall from grace of Smith collided with the ascendency of Williams to World level.
The contest has so many intangibles, Smith holds the experience whilst the youth and vigour of the younger man in Williams can also be of an advantage.
Both are hard hitting Super Welterweights which is mirrored on their respective records especially in their last ten contests (Smith 9 from 10 – Williams 8 from 10)
The Welshman holds a slight edge in hand speed and power, Smith the better movement of the two and perhaps the better jab also, although this is a very underrated aspect of the Welshman’s tactics.
Such was the importance of this contest, Williams took his training camp to the Las Vegas desert, leaving no stone unturned whilst Smith took a fight on short notice in Spain to sharpen his skills at a more competitive level than the gym perhaps would allow.
I see this one being a cagey affair especially early on, Smith will have spells throughout the Middle rounds where it may look like he is pulling ahead on the scorecards, using his jab to offset the incoming Williams, but as the rounds move on, the Machine switches to overdrive, pushing Smith to the ropes before a body shot stops him in his tracks somewhere between the 8th and 10th rounds.
Lee Thornton – TopClassBoxing – Williams W12 Smith – Liam Smith is the more experienced fighter of the two and in 2016 fought Canelo Alvarez and had some decent moments in that fight.
Williams is an exciting fighter to watch, he can box and is a good puncher. I am picking the Welshman due to him having a size and a punching power advantage.
Liam Williams also can box very well making him a highly skilled fighter to watch regardless of the outcome of this fight. I have Liam Williams overcoming Liam Smiths experience and winning a unanimous decision.
Steve Haigh – TopClassBoxing – Smith W12 Williams – There’s more than the British and interim WBO title at stake (The winner possibly upgraded to full status?) bragging rights will be as important to both men.
While things up to now have remained relatively respectful the fight draws nearer and both boil down to 11stone and irritable things may change a little.
I’ve struggled slightly as to which side will be victorious. Smith has the big fight experience and temperament, Williams is up and coming looking to achieve what his rival once held before losing to Canelo Alvarez.
Both are tough, inside proud and neither man will want to give ground. I’m confident if Smith holds his feet then Williams will go right with him.
Tactically Smith should box the fight and not get drawn in too early otherwise he’s fighting Williams’ fight which in my opinion is exactly what the latter should look to do by putting the pressure on early.
Lockett will have him at optimal fitness which could be a key factor if a fast paced fight and Smith starts to feel it later on.
Williams should look to invest in the body from the get go and often in order to have a bigger advantage as the fight progresses into the later part.
I feel if Smith fights smart and uses his jab wisely he has the ability to pull out a decision
Williams, as stated, should try to keep mid to close range and draw his man into a dogfight If he can achieve this with a high tempo in the championship rounds.
My gut feeling is that big fight experience will play a major part in deciding who wins Liam Smith has this over Liam Williams.
As the fight enters the last third it’s crucial that Smith keeps his shape and I fancy him to do so
Craig Morgan – TopClassBoxing – Williams W12 Smith – Great matchup, definitely a 50/50 fight, Liam Williams to win on points.
Richard Lewis – TopClassBoxing – Williams W12 Smith – I think that it’ll be a cagey start with both men not committing too much until maybe the 3rd or 4th where it’ll open up and I see Smith doing the better of the early work.
I think as the fight progresses Williams will get into it and nick a few rounds and then look for a grandstand finish to stop Smith, who will take the majority of Williams best shots but ultimately lose the rounds that follow and I see both men fighting until the final bell with Liam Williams taking a close points decision.
Shane Dyer – TopClassBoxing – Williams TKO Smith – The definition of a 50/50 fight. Both boxers hugely underrated in my opinion. If Smith can stick to his boxing and keep things neat and smooth, he’ll win comfortably on points. But I’m swaying towards an aggressive Williams stopping Smith.
Smith will control the fight early on but Williams’ front foot, aggressive style will eventually be too much for Smith to handle. Williams to stop Smith Round 10-12
Craig Muncey – TopClassBoxing – Smith TKO Williams – The Welshman Williams will be looking to continue his progression in the division whilst Smith even though had a recent win, is still looking to get his career back on track after his high-profile loss against Canelo Alvarez.
Williams has a bigger punch than Smith who I see as being the more technical boxer, so this is a really good mix for a great fight.
Even though I am also Welsh, I see Smith coming out on top and after an exciting fight, I see Smith winning by late stoppage or a points victory.
Steve Galli – TopClassBoxing – Smith TKO Williams – After watching both fighters live in the past and being a massive fan of both, this is a real tough fight to call.
Both fighters have power, good shot selection and good movement plus a strong will to win.
If I have to call it, I would go for Smith by late stoppage only because he has the experience at this level and I think Williams might struggle to keep his composure.
Rob Day – Ringnews24.com – Williams TKO Smith – A Great matchup between two fiercely competitive contenders. Both will have spells on top in this bout but I expect the better movement and sharper shooting to come from the Welshman. This is a bout that we will see Liam Williams shine. A late stoppage win is a very real possibility.
Dewi Powell – BoxingWales.com – Williams W12 Smith – I expect Liam Williams to earn a clear points victory, the type that he will have to work hard for but always remain a step ahead in. There are a lot of different sides to his game that many are yet to see and that certainly includes Smith. Those who label him as just a come forward power puncher will have their eyes opened, including Smith who has seemed to underestimate Williams’ skills, reading too much into his most recent two fights. After a cagey opening, where Smith may give away an early lead like he has in the past, it could lead to even exchanges in the middle rounds until Williams’ most precise and impactful shots stand out to make the difference.
David Owen – DragonsBoxing.co.uk – Smith W12 Williams – Heart says Williams but head says Smith. Got to go with Smith on points solely on the fact of the better class of opposition, he’s been in with and holds the experience of the big occasions. Smith v Canelo in Texas whilst Williams v Cocoran in Cardiff.
Fighters / Coaches / Managers / Promoters
Lee Selby – IBF World Featherweight Champion – I think this one’s a real 50/50 and could go either way I also think it will go the distance.
Andrew Selby – British Flyweight Champion – Williams W12 Smith – I think Williams will win, he is the better boxer and the better puncher.
Tony Borg – World Championship Trainer – Williams W12 Smith – I see it as a 50/50 fight–I’m guessing Smith will aim to walk Williams down behind a high/tight guard and expect to take over at halfway stage. However, high guards can be lowered with accurate body shots, Williams is young and fresh, he likes to work and I don’t think he’ll fade in later rounds.Smith, however,
Smith, however, will be absorbing shots and will have occasional reminders of his night with Canelo. I’m expecting a good hard fight with Williams winning on points or a stoppage around 8/9 rounds
Marcello Renda – English Super Middleweight Title Challenger – Smith W12 Williams – You would favour Smith with his experience. Smith is a very good boxer and does the basics very well.
If you had a kid coming through the ranks, you would have him/her watch Smith. Williams is a strong, dangerous and hungry fighter and I know he’s taken himself over to America for sparring so you’re going to get the best Williams on the night but I don’t think it’s gonna be enough. I’m going for Smith to win on points.
Steve Goodwin – Goodwin Promotions – Williams W12 Smith – I fancy Williams in points. Fresher of the two.
Jamie Seldon – Cutman – Smith W12 Williams – Smith wins on points, bit too slick for Williams and more experienced at this level, It will be a good fight because Williams is a tough kid and will be in the contest until the end! Looking forward to this one!
Nicky Piper – Former Commonwealth Light-heavyweight champion – Smith W12 Williams – Williams has the power to win but I’m a bit unsure about his defence.
It’s a real close one and Smith might take this on points. If Williams takes his time and boxes sensibly then he can win but I feel he is going to try and overpower Smith and leave himself open. Should be a cracker
George Jupp – Super Featherweight Title Challenger – Williams TKO Smith – I think it will be a great exciting fight. Both men have the power to end the night so may be cagey early on but as soon as it warms up it will be electric.
I think most people feel Smith’s experience will get him the win but I think if Williams keeps his cool early on and boxes smart he will win by late ko.
Charlie Edwards – Former English Flyweight champion / World Title Challenger – Smith W12 Williams – It’s a tough fight with guaranteed toe to toe action, I just see Liam Smith being a bit more clever and cute and will win on points
Jonjo Finnegan – Former Boxer – Smith W12 Williams – I’m going with Smith purely on experience and talent, I’m finding this a real hard one to pick for the fact they are both very hard working decent level fighters with big ambition and big hearts.
They’ll both be massively up for this but I’m going to go with Smith on points, I can’t see him stopping Williams
There is a massive chance I’m going to be off with this one and Liam Williams will do a job on Smith, I’m 60/40 Smith at the moment, this is a great little bout though looking forward to it so Smith on points for me.
Jason Thomas – Trainer / Former Boxer – Smith has a good defence and it will be tough nights work for Williams, Smith lost out to Canelo at Elite level so it will be interesting to see how he performs against Williams who I feel could be special
Sean Jones – Welsh Champion Trainer / Dowlais ABC – Williams W12 Smith – It’s a genuine 50/50 fight, I fancy Williams might nick it in the end on a points decision.
Ryan Evans – Former Professional Boxer / Dowlais ABC – Williams TKO Smith – Williams between rounds 10-12.
Scott Murphy – Amateur Boxer / Dowlais ABC – Smith W12 Williams – Williams to be on top early but Smith to take over and win on points.
Final Tally – Smith 10 – Williams 13 – Undecided – 2