In a tight contest for a shot at the WBO Light Middleweight title, Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith (26-1-1, 14 KOs) outpointed Liam Williams (16-2-1, 11 KOs) via a majority decision in Newcastle on Saturday night by scores of 114-114, 116-112 and 117-111.
Each of the twelve rounds was fiercely contested, most which could have gone either way. Williams as he had in the first fight, came forward using a solid jab but on this occasion was met by a more prepared fighter in Liam Smith.
Heads came together in the night’s opener which momentarily had us all thinking of a repeat scenario of their previous engagement, this time thankfully neither sustained a cut as a sigh of relief could be heard around the boxing community.
Williams was effective early on, taking the lead whilst Smith showed a more mobile target, fighting off the back foot, using a sneaky uppercut to occasionally snap back the head of the Welshman.
The fight it would be fair to say was a more tentative one than many had envisaged. It ignited a little in the fifth following a break in the action, Williams somehow found his way through the ropes following a call from the referee to ‘break’, but Smith instead took the opportunity to land a shot which got him a caution from the referee.
It served to fire up Williams who landed a succession of shots for the first time in the contest, backing up Smith who looked to flee the wave of combinations, finding solace against the ropes with a high guard.
Throughout the middle rounds, Smith’s jab started to make a bigger appearance which may have been key to winning some close rounds.
Williams needed to stop the momentum gained by Smith, doing so with an impressive shot selection in the ninth/tenth rounds, whipping shots to the head and body of the Liverpudlian as the chants of ‘Dully’ reverberated around the arena.
It came down to the last two remaining rounds as both men laid everything on the line, It would be true to say that the fight was void of the drama of the first encounter but it did, however, serve up a fascinating viewing, In the end, it was Smith who once again had his hand raised.
“I knew what Liam Williams did very well,” Smith said afterwards. “When I got my own jab going and moved my legs it nullified what Liam does very well.
“I didn’t like the way the last fight panned out and I got all the blame… But I have respect for him as a fighter, I’ve always had respect for him.”
More to Follow….
TopClassBoxing scored the fight in favour of Williams by 115-113