Liam Williams ends injury hell by stopping Kris Carslaw with a jab in British title win

Liam Williams ends injury hell by stopping Kris Carslaw with a jab in British title win

By Dewi Powell: Tonight at the Manchester Arena, Clydach Vale’s Liam Williams (13-0-1, 8KO) stunned the British boxing scene with a brutal knockout of Scotland’s Kris Carslaw (22-6, 5KO).

23-year-old Williams, who was defending his Commonwealth super-welterweight title for the first time, also collected the Lord Lonsdale strap in just his 14th outing and matched the number of fights that it took the legendary world champion Joe Calzaghe to win the belt.

‘The Machine’, as Williams is aptly nicknamed, ended matters moments in to the second round as he walked Carslaw on to a jab, flattening the approaching challenger who fell face first to the canvas on the BoxNation televised show.

The writing was on the wall in the opening round as Williams gained front foot position, firing long straight shots down the pipe and sending a usually aggressive Carslaw in to retreat. Momentum was established from then and it never looked in danger of being turned around.

Williams made a breakthrough in the closing seconds of the first stanza, pinning Carslaw to a neutral corner and forcing him to canvas with a barrage of punches that ended in a body shot. Referee Michael Alexander reached the count of nine until Carslaw returned to his feet, before warning Williams for hitting his opponent while Carslaw’s knee was on the floor.

Prior to that, Carslaw attempted to fend Williams off by switching stances to southpaw. However, that tactic suited Williams who needed less than three minutes to dispatch of southpaws on the two previous occasions he had faced them [Paul Morby and Michael Lomax, both TKO1]

Williams became the first man to halt Carslaw inside the distance; a feat that former European middleweight champion Michel Soro, ex-world title challenger Brian Rose and the world rated Damian Jonak couldn’t reach.

The Welshman was returning from 13 months of inactivity due to a potentially career threatening injury. The tendon of the knuckle above the index finger of Williams’ right hand was fused to the bone and a leading British surgeon advised him to retire. However, Williams sought a second and third opinion, spending more than £9,000 on two operations to fix the serious problem. Such was the extent of the injury, Williams didn’t throw a punch at a pad, bag or sparring partner from March to October but it has been resolved, leaving a four inch scar across his hand.

The win caps off a fantastic win for Gary Lockett’s Cardiff Bay based gym with Williams, Enzo Maccarinelli, Nick Blackwell Alex Hughes, Zack Davies and Jay Harris amassing a record of 21 wins, 11 by knockout and just two defeats. Williams, who has recently bought his first property and now expects the birth of his first child with long-term partner Evie in February, is hungry to defend his titles as quickly as possible.

In the co-feature for the ‘Xmas Cracker’ show, Liverpool’s super-welterweight Liam Smith defended his WBO world title for the first time, taking seven rounds to stop Manchester’s little known Jimmy Kelly, who Williams beat 11-4 when they were amateurs in 2007.

Smith has been in Williams’ sights for over a year and Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren may look to match the pair at the end of 2016. The British Boxing Board of Control [BBBoC] nominated Williams as mandatory challenger to then-British champion Smith in 2014 but Williams’ aforementioned m hand injury derailed stalled his progress.

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