Liam Smith vs. Liam Williams Rematch Moved To November 11

By Terence Dooley

British boxing fans no longer face an either/or moment when deciding between watching Liam Smith (25-1-1, 14 KOs) versus Liam Williams (16-1-1, 11 early) in an eliminator for the WBO light-middleweight title or Anthony Joshua’s defence of his IBF World and IBO titles against IBF mandatory challenger Kubrart Pulev after Frank Warren announced that Smith-Williams will now take place on November 11 instead of October 28, the proposed date of the Joshua fight.

Warren confirmed the news at this afternoon’s press conference in Newcastle; the city’s Metro Radio Arena will host the fight.  The move means that fans can watch both shows live without having to choose between them.

Smith and Williams met for the interim WBO title in April.  Smith, however, failed to make the 154lb limit and the belt was only on the line for Williams, who retired in his corner in round nine due to a cut and badly swollen right eye to hand the advantage over to Smith going into the highly-anticipated return bout.  Williams was leading on the cards at the time of the withdrawal.


Liverpool's Smith held aloft the WBO belt between October 2015 and September 2016 after beating John Thompson (W TKO 7) for the vacant title, making two successful defences before a ninth-round KO loss to Saul Alvarez.  The 29-year-old will hope to beat Williams again to get himself back into world title contention.

A former British Champion, Williams boxed well in the early going last time out and was heavily criticised by Smith for withdrawing from the fight to avoid further eye damage, prompting an online war of words between the two.  The 25-year-old from Wales will be looking for revenge, rather than a repeat, in the return.

The winner of this one can expect to contest the vacant WBO belt at some point while the loser will still have options domestically and beyond with the likes of Joe Pigford and Ted Cheeseman, both undefeated, leading the chasing pack here in the U.K.

“This has all of the ingredients of a great fight,” stated Warren when speaking to the assembled press.  “I believe it will be even better than their first meeting.  The winner of this fight becomes the WBO mandatory challenger, wouldn't it be great to bring Miguel Cotto to the U.K.?”

The bad blood the two fighters have displayed online was also spilt in person when they outlined how the rematch will go.  “It was a very good fight,” said Williams.

“I felt like I started very well. I was outboxing Liam.  He came on strong at the end.  I took a nasty cut to the eye, it isn't a tickling contest and these things happen.  I'm glad we get to do it again.”

“What I did to try and make during fight week killed me, I was flat, slow and sluggish,” explained Smith.  “I have it in me to change fights.  You go in the ring, you get wet.  You spewed it.  That’s why [trainer] Gary Lockett pulled you out.”

“If I lose in a fair manner I will hold my hands up and take a defeat like a man, you have only one style,” argued Williams, which prompted a swift response from Smith.

“It was enough to bully you,” he said.

“You didn't bully me at all,” countered Williams.

As things wound down, Smith provided the final word by declaring: “I will do the weight right this time, you'll have no excuses from me.”

Please send news and views to @Terryboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by redmish on 09-08-2017

[QUOTE=Adamjr91;18025550]In my humble opinion, Williams is the superior boxer in all departments. Without the head clashes in the first fight, Smith may have been stopped late. I expect Williams to carry on where he left off and beat Smith to…

Comment by Chrismart on 09-08-2017

Makes sense to move it, as all eyes will be on Joshua that night. I'm looking forward to the fight, i like both guys. Williams boxed well the first fight and made Smith look unusually hesitant. But Williams did look…

Comment by Adamjr91 on 09-08-2017

[QUOTE=redmish;18017768]Because I can't pick a winner. Williams boxed really well in the first fight before Smith came on strong. They're closely matched and it should be good. Williams is the better boxer but smith is stronger and more durable. They…

Comment by Corelone on 09-06-2017

I'll watch this, it has an attraction. A hometown rivalry and knowing Smith gave Canelo every accommodation millions of dollars could buy. No drug testing, no rehydration clause, Texas! Smith did pretty good.

Comment by Mick Higgs on 09-06-2017

Is Williams's British title at stake? If not why not!

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