By Elliot Foster
LIAM SMITH has promised that his rematch with Liam Williams could get nasty.
The former WBO super-welterweight champion is hoping to fight for his old belt again sooner rather than later.
Smith faces Williams in a rematch on Saturday at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle –– with the winner in pole position to fight for the vacant title after coming out victorious in the final eliminator, exclusively live on BT Sport and BoxNation.
The pair shared a ring back in April, with ‘Beefy’ coming out on top in a bloody battle which saw both men cut badly.
The interim world title was at stake at Manchester Arena –– only for Williams after Smith failed to make the weight.
But the 29-year-old has insisted that Williams will not face a worse Liam Smith in his career than the one he faced on that night and that he will not only be more polished but also more mentally strong when the going gets tough.
“There are still questions about his mental strength,” Smith told Boxing Scene recently. “But that box has been ticked for me. I’ve overcome the same as what he has –– a cut –– and ultimately I won the first fight.
“He looked for an easy way out. He was cut, and yes, it was a bad cut, but most cuts round the eyes are bad. I just think he used it as an excuse. That was a valid reason for him and his trainer Gary Lockett to get out and they jumped at it after milking it a little bit too much.”
Williams has said in the build-up that he can match the nastiness in the fight, should it end up panning out that way, but that’s something that ‘Beefy’ throws out as rubbish, given the proceedings first time around.
“I saw an interview where he was talking about how he could make the fight nasty if I wanted to make it nasty and I just think he’s talking sh**e.
“If you want to talk about it getting nasty, I stuck the head on him and he jumped out, so it’s not going to get much nastier than that and to me that comment was laughable.”
Smith, a former British and Commonwealth champion, reigned as WBO king from October 2015 until September 2016 in which time he had two successful defences before losing it at the hands of the formidable Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in Texas.
And he is ultra-confident, while also being super-keen to do so, that he can do a job on Williams and once again ensure that fight fans see him as one of the best in the division.
“I think this has the potential to go 12 rounds, but they know they’re not going to get a worse version of me than they got on that night.
“He’s still got the 12-round box to tick, but I know I’m a very good 12-round fighter. They know that too. They also know that I get better as the fight goes on.
“I’m 100 per cent confident that I’ll wear him down again and stop him again. But I’ll do it in very, very good fashion this time.”