It was a controversial and premature end to the first meeting due to a severe cut to Williams’ eye in the 10th round that may have been induced by a headbutt which was dubiously deliberate to the onlooking public, but wholly intended according to the Welshman.
Most onlookers had Williams ahead on the scorecards before being withdrawn by Gary Lockett, which was a brave but ultimately compassionate decision from the revered trainer in the corner.
It was a grudge match anyway but after the unfinished business and unsettled outcome, the warring pair are all set to do it again this Saturday night in Newcastle, with absolutely no love lost.
I could spend forever analysing this fight, but it would do no good because the argument for and against could go on endlessly.
Instead, I am going to rely on my experience of the industry and inside knowledge to judge it accordingly.
Firstly, I would say that Liam Smith is a stubborn bastard and cannot be beaten easily, in any way. He is a former world champion that has defended the title twice and only lost to one of this generation’s best ever boxers – Canelo Alvarez.
It took the three-time world champion nine-rounds to get to him…he iced Amir Khan out in six.
Liam Williams is an exceptional talent, but I don’t think he handles the pace in fights too well. He puts everything he has into every punch and he can tire at times during rounds because of that.
He was visibly fading in those later rounds against Smith and the Liverpudlian was beginning to come on strong for a reason.
Beefy is as persistent as they come and he will always be there in front of Williams, which means that he will be there to hit and will soak up a lot of punches from the British champion but he will not be hurt easily, and will not be moved, which will always test the questionable stamina of Williams, who throws his everything into every punch, causing him to gas at times.
The victor of the first fight will not be intimidated, bullied, outmuscled or pushed back and has the greater experience already experiencing the world level scene and being in with the world best, which shows in his composure and confidence within the ring.
I think the dogged Smith wins on points or via another late stoppage.