Former WBO Super-Welterweight World Champion Liam Smith and reigning British Champion Liam Williams became embroiled in a war of words at a press conference in Newcastle yesterday ahead of their highly-anticipated rematch at the Metro Radio Arena on Saturday 11th November, live on BT Sport and BoxNation.
The undercard at the Metro Radio Arena is set to feature some of the very best emerging local North East talent, as well as some other excellent young fighters from further afield.
Country Durham’s Thomas Patrick Ward (20-0) will defend his British Super-Bantamweight Championship against Brimingham’s Sean Davis (13-1-0); whilst Guisborough’s Josh Leather (12-0) will face Sunderland’s Glenn Foot (20-1-0) in a what is set to be a pulsating North East Derby for the IBF European Super-Lightweight Championship.
Ricky Hatton-trained Nathan Gorman (Natwich, 10-0) will face Nick Webb (Chertsey, 11-0) for the English Heavyweight Championship in another showdown where someone’s ‘0’ is set to go. Explosive Super-Middleweight Mark Heffron (Oldham, 16-0) another of Ricky Hatton’s excellent young stable of fighters, will also be in action on the card.
In addition, local prospects Troy Williamson (Darlington, 3-0) Kalam Leather (Guisborough, 2-0) Joe Maphosa (Thornaby, 1-0) Michael Watson (Sedgefield, Pro debut) and Jeff Saunders (11-0) of Sedgefield will all appear on the bill.
Below are quotes from the press conference:
“I don’t think you had to be good fighter to beat me in the first six rounds of our first fight. I was slow, flat and sluggish. I can never be that bad again. What I did to try and make weight during fight week killed me. It was nothing to do with having a slow start by game plan. Liam had a good start and I couldn’t have been worse. There are ten fighters in Britain that could have probably outboxed me on that night.
“The fight was changing before round 9. He threw his head in numerous times because I didn’t get cut off it. Regardless, you go in the ring you get wet. The minute you got cut you knew your chips were down, you spewed it! You chose to let Gary pull you out. You knew you’d had your moment and you were gone.
“I was up for this rematch and that is why were are here now. As soon as I start better, Liam is going to be more of a fight earlier on and he won’t get his own way. It is only to go one way and he is going to crumble earlier than he did last time. I am stronger than him and I have more heart than him.”
“Our first meeting was a very good fight. I felt like I started very well and I was outboxing him and getting a lot of rounds in the bag. He was coming on strong which we were always prepared for, that is the kind of fighter Liam is. He comes with a very sold defence and he is very strong,
“Obviously it ended the way it did, it wasn’t fair, we didn’t’t give the fans a chance to see what the proper outcome should have been. I took a nasty cut to the eye, these things happen and it isn’t a tickling contest. These things happen in boxing and I’m glad we get a chance to do it again.
“I think he was down in the fight and he needed to do something. It was frustration and I do believe the head clash was intentional. New time we are both going to be better. I am going to be more prepare and it is going to be another cracking fight, I’m going to put this to bed.”
THOMAS PATRICK WARD:
“It was a great fight with Jazza Dickens and we expected it to be. I’m glad that the BT Sport and BoxNation viewers got to see what I’m about and I’ve got plenty more to show. Everyone wants the Lonsdale Belt and everyone will be coming for me now wanting a piece of it. I’m young, I’m hungry and I want the best fights out there – I’m here to stay.
“Sean Davis is a strong fighter and he will be coming for the belt. If we have to go to war we go to war, if I have to box I’ll box. As you will have seen I’m more of a natural boxer but I am prepared to go through whatever it takes to keep that Lonsdale Belt and win on the night.”
“I can’t wait to fight Glenn Foot. It is going to be a massive local derby up here in the North East and the tickets are already flying out for it. I will be wearing that belt around my waist on November 11th, there is no doubt in my mind.
“I’m more nervous for Kalam than I am for my own fight! We always sparred each other in the living room when we were boys, we used to hide the gloves from our Mum! Like Kalam said, it has always been our dream to win titles in the professional ranks. Hopefully one day I will top a bill up here in the North East.”
“Between me and Nick Webb it is going to be a good fight. He is 11-0 with 9 knockouts. He is a big man, at the end of the day what Heavyweight can’t punch? You can’t blink in this fight. I’ve been training for the fight for four weeks already, I’m training harder than ever.
“I can’t wait to get on the big platform, I have got my chance to prove what I can do on the big stage and I can do that now I have signed with Frank Warren. Ricky Hatton is one of the lads. The knowledge I get off him is second to none. Every day is a laugh with Ricky, it makes the training seems easier, we train incredibly hard don’t get me wrong!”
“The atmosphere is brilliant in our gym, we all push each other on to be the best that we can be. It has always been mine and Josh’s dream to make a success of it in the professional ranks. I can’t wait to fight on another exciting card with Josh and Joe, it is great that Frank has brought a fantastic show up to the North East.”
“Obviously at my weight class we get moved a lot quicker. I think I will be fighting for my first pro title by my fifth fight. With my background and experience from the amateurs I will be ready for a title shot by my fifth fight 100%.
“I have boxed some of the best guys around the World in the amateurs including the Cubans. That has set me in good stead for my professional career. I really enjoyed my pro debut in Leeds and I can’t wait to perform on another big arena show.”
“It is what it is. I just like getting in the ring and inflicting as much pain on my opponent as possible. My head is screwed on properly and I’m back in full time training after having some time out. I’m looking forward to returning to the Metro Radio Arena, it is where I made my pro debut. I’m looking forward to getting out again on my home turf.”
Tickets for Smith v Williams 2 priced at £40, £50, £70, £100, £150 and £250 are available from:
Metro Radio Arena
0844 493 6666
In person from the Metro Radio Arena Box Office
0844 249 1000