Liam Williams: There’s no need to dislike Gary Corcoran but it’s time to get down to business

Liam Williams: There’s no need to dislike Gary Corcoran but it’s time to get down to business

To the disappointment of social media, proceedings were very calm when British and Commonwealth champion Liam ‘The Machine’ Williams (14-0-1, 9KO) and Wembley’s challenger Gary Corcoran (15-0, 6KO) came head-to-head for the first time in fight week.

The super-welterweights became heated when they traded verbal jabs six weeks ago in a press conference to announce the fight. Williams, who will make the first defence of his Lord Lonsdale belt, ended it by pushing Corcoran’s head away and admitted they both behaved stupidly on that occasion.

The 24-year-old said: “Since the last press conference, I’ve had time to reflect and think about why we went at it and I think it was a little bit stupid. We both got overexcited and at the end of the day, it’s a good fight and we don’t need to sell the fight. It sells itself.”

In an uncommon occurrence given the way professional boxing is promoted nowadays, both unbeaten boxers were more diplomatic during yesterday’s press conference. They paid respect to the attributes their opponent owns and Williams insists there’s no need to continue the bad feeling.

He said: “Things were said last time and it got a little bit heated but today, we’re only two days away from the fight and we both want to keep a cool head. We don’t want to put ourselves off what we’re going in here to do. I believe for that reason, we were a bit calmer.

“It’s time to get down to business. We might not be friends but we can get on together afterwards. There’s no need to dislike each other, we’re just competitive.”

The largely respectful exchanges did include one suspicion from Corcoran’s experienced co-trainer Frank Greaves. He questioned whether Williams will be strong in the later rounds having done 11st (154lbs) the day before, even as the Welshman polished off a two litre bottle of water at the top table.

Reflecting on the comments, Williams said: “I’m doing the weight really well and to be honest with you, it’s the best I’ve done it for the last couple of fights. Because of the extra-added motivation, I’ve not been having the odd cheat or any treat snacks.

“I do a lot of water loading, I probably drink five or six litres today before shutting off to lose it. The weight is honestly not an issue, it’s no problem at all for me.”

Williams and Corcoran are expected to lock horns at approximately 11:30pm, which is by far the latest the reigning champion has been in the ring. It’s the type of scenario that comes with being the main attraction for the paying customers and Williams insists it won’t be a negative issue.

He said: “I’m going to be the last fight of the night. It’s probably going to be the latest I’ve boxed but the adrenaline will keep me going. I’m sure I’ll be wide awake and fired up when it comes.”

Combined with the fan base of Alex ‘Bad News’ Hughes, who also fights on the show and lives five miles from Williams, there are over 1,500 fans that will make the journey from the Rhondda valleys down the A470 to Cardiff.

The Clydach Vale area is likely to be a ghost town and that brings natural pressure to Williams, who has been the main attraction of the show. That status has brought extra fight-week activities and Williams has been happy to play the part.

He said: “It’s been awesome. I’ve loved every minute of it; the open workout and the press conference, too. It’s been good to have a lot of limelight for a change, rather than being on other people’s undercards. I think although there are two-world title fights on the bill, my fight is the one people here are coming to see.

“It’s been mental but it’s all-good, I enjoy it because so many people are coming out to support me and spend their hard earned cash. I’ve put a stop to selling the tickets over the last week or so because I’ve needed time to get mentally focused and do the business. I could have sold even more but this last week has been about getting mentally prepared.”

Williams and Corcoran, along with the rest of the boxers on the show, will weigh in at 2pm today. It will take place in the Hilton Hotel in Cardiff city centre (CF10 3HH).