Liam Williams in no mood to tolerate ‘boring’ British title challenger Joe Mullender

Liam Williams in no mood to tolerate ‘boring’ British title challenger Joe Mullender

Clydach’s Liam Williams (19-2-1, 14KO) makes the first defence of his British middleweight title on Friday and ‘The Machine’ is in no mood to tolerate ‘boring’ challenger Joe Mullender (11-2, 5KO).

The former English champion has played down his chances in the domestic showdown, live on BT Sport. Williams has been surprised by the narrative and remains sure it’s a ploy to entice him to let his guard down, both figuratively and literally.

The Welshman said: “It’s not a true reflection of what he [Mullender] really thinks. Maybe it’s me being bad minded but I think he’s trying to get me to think I’ve already won the fight, so I go in there and take my eye off the ball. Realistically, he hasn’t got too much hope, so his best chance is to try and bluff me.

“He’s going to bring what he normally brings – a tough fight. He’ll be as game as they come. Lets be honest, this is his world title fight. This is his big, big chance and he’ll try to grab it with both hands and make a statement. I’m not going to allow that. I’ll stop him in his tracks and knock him out.

“For me, the guy sends me to sleep. He bores the life out of me. There’s no spark. He might as well retire with his slippers on because he’s so boring.”

Just like the 10th round domination of Manchester’s heavily favoured Mark Heffron in December, Williams again travels to his opponent’s backyard. The 26-year-old insists home advantage will prove to be an own goal for Mullender, though the view will be nice at the historic Royal Albert Hall in London.

“The venue is outstanding,” said Williams. “I’ve been there to visit for a presser and it’s going to be very good on the night. There are not many bad seats in the building.

“He’s probably going to have a lot of fans there. He’s a good ticket seller but what does that mean? It doesn’t mean s***. I’ve been to people’s backyards; I’ve been booed and shouted at. It means nothing. If I’m getting verbals at the venue, it’s gonna backfire on their man because I’ll make him pay. Believe me.”

Williams, now a two-weight British champion, has seen his fortunes flipped from clear betting underdog to a big favourite in the space of one fight. The no-nonsense puncher is aware of the expectation and refuses to read too much in to it. However, Williams knows that he can afford no slip ups if he’s to progress to the places his handlers, MTK Global, have in mind.

He said: “There are no names being given to me but they’ve told me there are big fights possibly in the waiting for me. I’ve just got to do my job and they’ll do theirs.

“Mullender is a fight I’ve got to win to move forward to where I want to be. Forget the champion tag, it means s*** to me. I’ve just got to go in and do what I do best and win. I haven’t even got my belt with me. I’m just focusing on winning this fight.

“I’m more motivated because I’m so close to a fight at world level. This is one last hurdle I’ve got to get over before a big fight. That’s my motivation.”

Having fought on 22 December, Williams’ nine week and six day turnaround is the quickest of his eight-year career. Activity is often key to a fighter’s form and Williams feels well positioned to pace his year ahead.

He said: “I’d like three fights this year. This one on Friday, one close to the summer and one at the end of the year. That’s the same pattern as last year.

“By the time fight night comes, it’ll be my fastest ever turnaround of a fight. I’ve got to be honest with you, I could do with a couple of weeks off after this one, to tell you the truth. I’ve had a good camp, everything has gone as well as it could. I’m on good form. No excuses, I’m gonna go in there and win.

“I feel like I might want a little break [after Mullender] but if a big fight presented itself, I’d go straight back in to camp on Saturday morning. That’s how much I want it.”

Williams’ back-to-back training camps have given him an extended time to work with his relatively new trainer, Dominic Ingle at their Sheffield base. Their bond is growing and has even seen Ingle don the kitchen apron to prepare meals in recent weeks.

He said: “I believe we’ve got a good relationship already. It’s improved in the space of the last 10 weeks. Living in Sheffield, I see him every day, he’s monitoring everything and I spend a lot of time with him. For the last two weeks, he’s been cooking every meal for me. I’m going over to his house, sat at his dining table and I’ve got to know him a lot better. I feel like we’ve built, so far and still, a very good relationship.

“It’s mad to think some of the food he cooks for me is diet food but he’s a very good cook. He makes your average salad taste out of this world. It’s madness. He knows what he’s doing, in terms of macros; fats, carbs, proteins. He’s very clued up, like a book of knowledge. It’s difficult to get that kind of experience in your corner.”

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