Fighter Diary by Liam Williams
At the end of round nine at the Manchester Arena in April, a brutal and absorbing battle between Liam Smith and his namesake Williams was brought to a premature conclusion due to a double laceration of the Welshman’s right eyelid. It was a controversial finish that demanded a rematch and the pair will do it all again in Newcastle on November 11. In his latest exclusive Fighter Diary, Williams reflects on the moment when his dream of becoming WBO Interim world champion was forced to be saved for another day…
I KNEW INSTANTLY I was in trouble after being caught by the head of Liam Smith in our first fight back in April and, if you look back on the fight, you can see my reaction.
I knew that it was a bad one because my vision was blurred and I was basically blind in one eye.
At the end of the round when I went back to my corner, to be honest with you, I didn’t know what was going on. I was focusing on the cut and thinking to myself ‘sh*t, I can’t see’.
I was panicking, thinking ‘f**k, how am I going to fight with one eye?’ because I could hardly see a thing.
It is just one of those things though, I’m not going to keep talking about it, I just want to put it right next time.
I didn’t know I had been pulled out at first but there was no complaint from me. I knew exactly the reason why the decision was made and, looking back, if I was put in the same position I would’ve done the same thing.
It was the most sensible thing to do, leave the fight until another day. Gary (trainer, Lockett) made the right move and I will stand by every decision he makes.
Even though it looked on the cards at first, I didn’t end up having plastic surgery. I went to the hospital and got away with the stitching and gluing of the eye, which was lucky for me because if I had plastic surgery I could’ve been out of the ring for goodness knows how long.
I probably wouldn’t have ended up getting this return on the date we are doing it and, by the time I would have been ready, the opportunity would probably have gone.
I’m thankful to be where I am now. I also fractured my left hand quite early in the fight but, again, it is one of those things and there is no use bringing all these excuses into play.
They are not excuses – what happened, happened. He was cut, he probably hurt his hands and whatever he had wrong with him.
Everything comes into play and it is all irrelevant now from my point of view.
We go again in Newcastle and I can’t wait.
Next time – Smith takes respect for a weakness