By Elliot Foster
Liam Williams will be hoping for a shot at the big-time sooner rather than later after snapping a hiatus with an early finish.
The super-welterweight took apart Craig Nicholson inside an eventful two rounds on Friday night.
Williams headlined the ‘New Beginnings’ card promoted by MTK Global, exclusively live on iFL TV, at the Vale Sports Arena in Cardiff.
The former British and Commonwealth champion had been set to face Nicaragua’s Edwin Palacios, but he failed to board his flight, forcing MTK to bring in a late replacement in the shape of Gateshead light-heavyweight Nicholson.
And it was curtains for the Gateshead man, who was crippled by a left hook to the body midway through the second round.
He failed to beat the referee Reece Carter’s count and was writhing around on the canvas in agony from the pain of the shot.
“I’m ready to get back into big fights,” Williams, who knocked his opponent out of the ring in the opening round before running repairs had to be made to the squared circle itself, said afterwards. “I felt like I had to take this fight to get the rust off, with it being my first fight under a new trainer.”
Williams recently left long-time mentor Gary Lockett and moved to Sheffield to join up with Dominic Ingle, who also trains former IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook and current WBO middleweight king Billy Joe Saunders, who returns to action next month.
Saunders will take on Demetrius Andrade in a mandatory defence of his crown on October 20, exclusively live on Sky Sports and DAZN, at the TD Garden in Boston.
“I needed this and it was a nice little chance to get a run out, but if I’m being honest, I thought I’d have got rid of Palacios easier because Nicholson was heavier.”
A fight between Williams and Liverpool’s WBC International champion James Metcalf has been mooted for a long while, but it appears to be edging closer and may well happen before the end of the year.
“I want Jay Jay next,” Williams continued. “Unless something bigger presents itself, that’s the fight I want. It’ll be a good fight, a lot of people are talking about it, it’s nothing personal against him and I think he’s a good fighter, a nice kid, but I want to fight him.
“I listen to Dom and I feel like I’m learning every day. It’s about doing what I’ve got to do against top performers. I’ll be a different animal under Dom and I believe I can win a world title in the next 12 months.”