The delayed but eagerly awaited middleweight fight between Hamzah Sheeraz and Liam Williams is now less than two weeks away.
Sheeraz has recovered from the perforated eardrum which caused the fight to be postponed late last year and the two will finally meet at the Copperbox Arena on February 10th.
Former WBO featherweight champion, Colin McMillan, has been advising Sheeraz (18-0, 14 KO’s) for the past few years and is positive that the fiery Welshman will provide the perfect test of his man’s credentials.
McMillan won British and Commonwealth titles before winning the WBO belt and knows exactly what it takes to move from domestic level into world class.
“Liam Williams is a dangerous opponent but I think Hamzah’s ready for it. I’ve been involved nearly three years now and from the very beginning I could tell he has a lot of potential,” McMillan told BoxingScene.com. “He’s done everything asked of him so far. He’s improved and over the years I’ve seen the development. From day one I said he’s got the ability to become a world champion and he knows that to do that he has to get past people like Liam Williams. He’s in great condition and ready for the fight.
“He [Liam] has had a long time to prepare for the fight and he knows it’s his last chance. He has a chance to short circuit it and get right back up there in the world rankings. He’s a talented fighter and he’ll be fully prepared. It should be a good fight.”
Apart from a tricky few rounds against Bradley Skeete back in December 2021, Sheeraz has progressed through the levels with relative ease. He has stopped all four opponents since he stepped up to the middleweight division after that fight with Skeete and McMillan thinks that we won’t see what he is truly capable of until he is faced with a real challenge.
“Yeah, I think so. He’s so good. He’s got very good ring I.Q and I’ve never really seen him in trouble. He’s the kind of fighter that when the occasion rises, he’ll rise to that occasion and you’ll see the best of him. He can do a bit of everything.”
Sheeraz holds the WBC Silver title and is also highly ranked by the WBO and WBA. Beating the respected Williams would move him into prime position for a shot at one of the titles.
Janibek Alimkhanuly holds the WBO and IBF belts, Jermall Charlo hasn’t defended the WBC belt since 2021 and is being linked to a fight with undisputed super middleweight champion, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez whilst Erislandy Lara holds the WBA title. There will be opportunities at 160lbs and McMillan believes that providing he chooses the right fights to prepare him for title level, Sheeraz is more than capable of flourishing when he gets there.
“It’s difficult. You have to take a look at what’s out there. Hamzah will be homing in on a world title shot within the year, definitely. It’s about trying to find the right opponents at the right times. This marks a step up in class and hopefully he can get a few more fights in around this kind of level before he steps to championship level,” he said.
“I don’t think there’s anybody exceptional out there and nobody that Hamzah can’t deal with. Within a year, hopefully he should be ready to challenge for - and win - a world championship.”