Williams to return by the end of 2015 and expects British title shot soon
Clydach Vale’s super-welterweight Liam Williams (12-0-1, 7KO) is targeting a return by the end of the year and he’s aiming to add the British title to his trophy cabinet.
The 23-year-old hasn’t fought since November when he knocked out Michael Lomax in less than a round to win the Commonwealth title. However, Williams paid the price for his power punching, the asset that’s led him to a four fight stoppage streak, when a reoccurring injury struck.
Despite going under the knife earlier in his career, the knuckle above Williams’ index finger on his right hand was still providing unavoidable discomfort. Another operation later and thankfully, the Welshman can now make a fully formed fist for the first time in months.
“I had the operation five weeks ago and it’s on the mend now,” said Williams, who is soon to resume full contact training. “Give it a few more weeks before I can properly start using it in sparring but I’m back in the gym now and working hard. I’m pretty fit already, so things are finally looking up for me again.
“I’ve stayed in the gym [with trainer Gary Lockett] almost the whole time I’ve been out. When I had the op, I had to have a few weeks off because I couldn’t get my hand or the stitches wet. I’ve worked hard since that though because I can’t wait to get back in the ring.”
If the Frank Warren promoted prospect needed anymore motivation, Williams recently found out that he’s soon-to-become a first time father in February and it’s matured his mindset.
He said: “If I weren’t having a baby, I wouldn’t be as keen to get back. It’s motivation for me. I’ve never once fallen out of love with boxing but I wouldn’t be so eager to get back to boxing. Everything’s coming together and I really want to take steps forward.
“I’ve never once doubted [that the injury will be resolved] and even if my hand couldn’t be fixed, I would have pushed on anyway. I’ll never let anything stop me. I’m pretty confident it’s fixed now, though.”
Prior to “The Machine’s’’ malfunction, Williams was the nominated Mandatory Challenger for the British title. 10 months of inactivity have resulted in Williams losing that status for the moment but with the British Boxing Board of Control [BBBoC] recently declaring the title vacant, plans are very likely to be placed in the pipeline for Williams to contest the Lord Lonsdale strap upon his return.
He said: “I’m going to be back in the ring late November or early December, that’s nearly 10 weeks away. I want to defend my Commonwealth title and I’m hoping to be put in for the British title in January or February time.
“It doesn’t bother me one bit [who it would be against]. I’m confident in my ability that I’d beat them all. That’s not being big headed, I just believe in myself and believe I’d do it. So, I’m happy to fight whoever.”
The much-mooted meeting between Williams and Liverpool’s Liam Smith (20-0-1, 10KO) appears as far away as ever but it continues to build into a bigger fight. Smith was stripped of the aforementioned title when he failed to make a deal with Scotland’s Kris Carslaw (22-5, 5KO), though he will instead contest the vacant WBO world belt against unheralded American John Thompson (17-1, 6KO).
Speaking of the situation, Williams said: “I don’t see why it won’t happen in the future, it’s a big fight. He [Smith] has taken a big step forward and I’m going to step up too and fight for the British.
“At the moment, he’s a step ahead of me and it’s a couple of fights away but it’s definitely a fight that could happen in the near future, within the next year maybe.
“I think he will win the world title. I’ve got a lot of respect for Liam Smith, he’s a good fighter and I just believe he’s a bit above John Thompson. He’ll get the job done.”