Liam Smith has secret fight in Spain three weeks before date with Liam Williams

Liam Smith has secret fight in Spain three weeks before date with Liam Williams

Liverpool’s Liam Smith (24-1-1), 13KO) had a secret fight in Barcelona, Spain just three weeks before his date against Clydach Vale’s Liam Williams (16-0-1, 11KO).

The unpublicised bout took place in a gym and the 28-year-old won the four rounder against Romanian middleweight Marian Cazacu (2-38-1), who has only won two of forty fights, on points.

It’s understood that Smith had been due to take part in a routine outing on 28 January but that did not happen. Instead, it took place last night and astonishingly close to his fight against Williams at the Manchester Arena on Saturday 8 April.

Although Smith is levels and levels beyond Cazacu’s capabilities, there were obvious risks with the fight, which is probably why it was kept under wraps ahead of his scheduled appearance on BoxNation and BT Sport.

There are dangers of injury with every spar – as Smith found out when he was cut five weeks before his knockout loss to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. Those risks are increased with smaller gloves and without head guards in an actual competitive environment.

Williams is currently ranked third by the WBO at super-welterweight and is only behind Puerto Rican legend Miguel Cotto and Demetrius Andrade. Last weekend, Andrade won the WBA Regular strap and is expected to be dropped from the ratings when they’re next updated.

Smith is two places below at fifth and coming off a loss – a ninth round stoppage against the aforementioned Alvarez, who scored three knockdowns to relieve the Scouser of his WBO world title in September.

Alvarez is set to fight countryman Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr in an all-Mexican mega-fight in May at a catch weight of 164lbs, 10lbs above the super-welterweight limit. The two-weight champion has so far refused to vacate the WBO belt.

Frank Warren, the Hall of Fame entrant who promotes the fight, hasn’t yet clarified if Williams’ British or WBO European belts will be on the line. That may be because they’re looking at the option of adding the WBO world interim title to the mix.

The governing body has rules to stop boxers who suffered a loss in their last fight competing for it’s main titles. That could explain the motive for Smith’s secret fight.

Smith had previously criticised Williams for travelling to Las Vegas during his training camp, citing that it’s not something the Welshman has done before. Before the secret fight took place, he claimed confidence from being in a far more familiar routine – something that has now been disrupted.

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