Williams wants to set up Welsh homecoming in the summer

Williams wants to set up Welsh homecoming in the summer

Clydach Vale’s super-welterweight champion Liam Williams (13-0-1, 8KO) will end six months of inactivity soon and hopes it will set up the real possibility of a summer homecoming.

‘The Machine’ is scheduled to box in a stay busy eight round fight against Argentina’s Alberto Gustavo Sanchez (12-12-1, 4KO) at Liverpool’s Echo Arena on 4 June as part of Frank Warren’s show, televised by BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437).

Williams hasn’t fought in Wales since shutting-out Darren Codona and inflicting suspected broken ribs on the once-beaten contender at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena in 2013. Since then, the 23-year-old has been on a red-hot run of form and toured Germany, Liverpool, Manchester and London.

However, after sitting ringside at Cyclone Promotions’ debut show at the 3,500 capacity Ice Arena Wales in Cardiff Bay earlier this month, Williams is keen to defend his British and Commonwealth titles at the new multi-million pound venue.

Liam WilliamsHe said: “Hopefully, we’re going to get something in Cardiff in the Ice Arena. I think I’ll do a lot of tickets for that, a lot of numbers to see me defending my belts.

“With my gym-mates; Alex Hughes, maybe Enzo [Maccarinelli], Jay Harris and Craig Evans, who is signed to Frank Warren, we can put on a good show and have a good night for Welsh boxing.”

First though, Williams must get through what’s supposed be a routine outing to shed any potential ring rust. Next weekend’s date, which comes on the undercard of domestic rival and WBO world title belt holder Liam Smith, will be his first of 2016 and he only has one thing in his mind – rounds.

Williams said: “Literally, I just want to get some rounds. Whether it’s four, six or it goes the distance and I get eight rounds, I just want to have some time in the ring. Obviously, if the finish is there for me, I’m going to take the opportunity but I’m just looking to get some rounds and as much work as I can.

“I’ve had three rounds of activity in the best part of two years, so I just need to get the rounds in. It’s nobody’s fault, it’s just one of them things that can happen in boxing but it’s important to get as much experience as I can now.”

Williams, who is trained by world title challenger Gary Lockett, has fought for five minutes and 58 seconds in the last 18 months. After recovering from a hand injury and surviving two surgeries to come storming back in December, a further series of unfortunate events extended his ring absence. It’s been far from ideal and at times, has tested the Welshman’s mental strength but his outlook remains positive.

Reflecting on the period, he said: “It’s been a little bit frustrating. When I boxed at the end of last year [TKO2 Kris Carslaw], I blew off some dust and got a good win to win another [vacant British] title. I was meant to box in February but I had to pull out due to illness. Then in April, Nav Mansouri did his Achilles tendon at the last minute.

“It’s a little bit of bad luck but compared to what I’ve been through [Williams was in the corner of Nick Blackwell who suffered injuries that led to an induced coma in March], it’s nothing. It’s a little blip, I move on and keep working hard. I’ve stayed in the gym the whole time, so I’m fit and good to go.

“In a way, I think the 13 months out [before winning the British title] done me the world of good. It was a blessing in disguise because when I come back, I felt a lot more mature and looked at things in different ways. Maybe before, I took for granted what I was doing and how well it was. When I thought it could be all over, it made me realise how much I love boxing.”

Perhaps the biggest adaptation Williams has made in this time is to the responsibility of fatherhood. His long term partner of nearly nine years, and biggest supporter, Evie gave birth to their first child in February. The introduction of Myla Rose Williams have given daddy ‘Dully’, an inherited nickname that those closest to him use, all the motivation he could wish for.

Liam WilliamsWilliams said: “You look at things in different ways after you become a father. I’ve got a family to provide for now, I’m moving in to my own place soon and things are getting real now. I need to look after myself and my family. I won’t be living with my parents, getting everything paid for me. So, I need to really work hard and make a great living.

“I’ve always got a good routine when it comes to training and everything because I enjoy what I do and I get up every morning looking forward to doing it, whether that’s sparring, pads, bags, running or whatever. It [becoming a father] hasn’t changed a lot for me in terms of my training schedule but it’s so much more motivation for me now. I think that makes a big difference coming in to my fights.

“Now, my views on things have changed and it helps me to keep working hard, pushing on to be the best I can be.”