Characteristically, ‘Beefy’ was bristling with bad intent when Glynn Evans caught up with him last night ahead of Saturday’s scintillating re-sit against bitter rival Liam Williams at Newcastle’s Metro Arena. BT Sport and BoxNation screen live.
“Part of why we accepted this rematch was to disprove all the fans and media who feel Williams was hard done by. The way I view it is that the controversial ending on a cut robbed me of recognition for a great comeback victory on a bad night.
A similar thing happened to Carl Froch in the first fight against George Groves. Carl was on his way to turning the fight but the so called ‘premature stoppage’ took from his glory. Look at the props Frank Buglioni received for executing his last round stoppage against Hosea Burton. I was denied that.
Look, it’s me who should be aggrieved by the ending to our first fight. Had the fight continued, I’m very confident that Williams would not have seen the end of the 12th round, not because of the cut but because he was fading massively.
Understand this, he was only one round in front on all judges’ cards and there were three rounds remaining. No way was he going to win two of them, that he needed to do to get the decision. Points or stoppage, I was getting my hand raised.
And I can’t stress enough, Williams had started bleeding before the ‘head clash’ everyone says caused the fight to finish. Williams was weakening physically and just opted to take the easy way out.
Was the butt retaliation for earlier clashes? I honestly couldn’t tell you because of the adrenalin of the fight but, yeh, it probably was! I’m the type that, if you do wrong to me and the ref doesn’t get involved, you can expect it back.
Williams was warned repeatedly for using forearms and his head, and for holding but no reductions. Jason Welborn and Jimmy (Kilrain) Kelly tried similar and they both copped it before I stopped them. Don’t expect me to just stand back and take it.
Nothing Williams did surprised me. We knew he was a good kid technically. He can box but you didn’t have to be anything special to outbox me that night. He can’t fight inside though and doesn’t have the variety that he thinks he has. His power is pretty average. He didn’t ever come close to buzzing me. If he stood and fought with me he’d have no chance.
And he showed mental vulnerabilities. He wasn’t able to bully me like he bullied Ronnie Heffron and Gary Corcoran and couldn’t cope with that. Questions remain. Can he do the 12 round distance? He faded badly last time in a fight where he’d pretty much been having his own way.
This time there’ll be no issues with me missing the weight. Every fighter finds cutting weight hard and those final couple of pounds just wouldn’t come out of me. For the rematch, I started my prep longer out and I’m in better shape. Expect me to be very, very strong.
On Saturday, you’ll witness a totally better version of Liam Smith. I’m gonna methodically break Williams down and stop him. ”
Elsewhere on a huge evening of boxing in Newcastle Country Durham’s Thomas Patrick Ward (20-0) will defend his British Super-Bantamweight Championship against Brimingham’s Sean Davis (13-1-0)
Rising Guisborough Super-Lightweight star Josh Leather (12-0) makes the first defence of his IBF European title against Sunderland rival Glenn Foot (21-2).
Ricky Hatton-trained Heavyweight Nathan Gorman (10-0) takes on Mohammed Soltby (13-0) for the Vacant WBC International Heavyweight Championship.
Explosive Super-Middleweight Mark Heffron (Oldham, 16-0) another of Ricky Hatton’s excellent young stable of fighters, takes on former Tommy Langford and Jamie Cox opponent Lewis Taylor (19-4-1); undefeated Jeff Saunders (11-0) of Sedgefield takes on undefeated Liverpudlian Steven Lewis (14-0)
In addition, local prospects Troy Williamson (Darlington, 3-0) Kalam Leather (Guisborough, 2-0) Joe Maphosa (Thornaby, 1-0) and Michael Watson (Sedgefield, Pro debut) will all appear on the bill.