GARY LOCKETT: "LIAM WILLIAMS' ALL ROUND ABILITY IS HIGHER THAN LIAM SMITH'S"
Lauded Welsh trainer Gary Lockett says undefeated British Super-Welterweight Champion Liam Williams is a better boxer and harder puncher than Liverpool’s Liam Smith. The fierce Anglo-Welsh rivals clash in a mouth-watering matchup at the Manchester Arena on Saturday 8th April, live on BT Sport and BoxNation.
Lockett, himself a former World Middleweight title challenger, believes the momentum is with his man. Williams enjoyed successful 2016, defending his Lonsdale belt for the first time at the Cardiff Ice Arena in July and winning the WBO European strap in front of noisy home fans at the Motorpoint Arena in November.
‘The Machine’, touted by many as Welsh boxing’s next megastar, possesses brutal punching power in both hands, but Lockett believes it is his technical ability and boxing brain that will win him next month’s showdown.
“I’m in the gym with Liam Williams every day and, trust me, his biggest attribute is his technical ability, not his strength and power,” said Lockett. “This is what will surprise people in this fight. The kid won six British (junior) titles in the amateurs. He knows how to box.
“Once Liam (Williams) started to find his power a few years back, as he matured physically, he became overly reliant on it. The (Gary) Corcoran British title defence brought a lot of pre-fight hype but we always sensed it was unlikely to be competitive and that reflected in the sloppy way in which Liam boxed. He’ll need to use his brain a lot more if he’s to topple Liam Smith.
“I honestly believe that Liam Williams’ all round ability is higher than Liam Smith’s. That’s what my confidence is based on. Smith has an edge in body punching, shot selection and experience but Williams is a better boxer, has superior footwork and is the harder puncher. That’s what will prove decisive, I believe.”
Smith vs. Williams is part of an unmissable evening of action on April 8th; local hero Terry Flanagan makes the fifth defence of his WBO World Lightweight crown against dangerous Russian Petr Petrov; double Olympic Gold Medallist and women’s boxing icon Nicola Adams OBE fights for the first time as a professional and former Team GB Heavyweight standout Daniel Dubois makes his highly-anticipated professional debut.
Tickets for April 8 priced £50, £70, £100, £150, £200, £300 and VIP £500 are available from eventim at www.eventim.co.uk and 0844 249 1000 and the Manchester Arena at www.manchester-arena.com and 0844 847 8000.