By Frank Warren
It is always with a heavy heart and considerable angst that a decision to pull the plug on a long-standing fight date is taken.
Circumstances dictate that our October 22 show at the Cardiff Motorpoint Arena is delayed just over a month until November 26.
It is an inconvenience for everyone concerned, not least the fans, but ultimately the date change is unavoidable. I’ve been in the game a long time and I’m fully aware that a substantial dollop of scepticism surrounds any postponement, with suggestions over ulterior motives.
It is particularly prevalent these days since the advent of social media, but I can assure you there is no upside for us in postponing a sold out event, particularly such an attractive one.
The bottom line is that boxers must be right to fight and I always urge all our fighters to be up front about any problems so that we can make the correct call and, if necessary, save a show for another day.
In this instance, both Billy Joe Saunders and Liam Williams reported fitness issues and we have elected to proceed on November 26 with a full-strength card, rather than go ahead minus two headline attractions or with late substitutes.
I genuinely apologise for the disruption this causes to the fans and other fighters, but injuries unfortunately do occur during preparations for fights and we have to deal with it and determine the best course of action when they do.
Liam Williams’ week started a lot better than it ended.
On Monday he received one of the most prestigious prizes in British boxing when he collected the Young Boxer of the Year award at the Savoy Hotel in London, voted for by the members of the Boxing Writers’ Club.
The 24-year-old follows in the relatively recent footsteps of his countrymen Joe Calzaghe, Enzo Maccarinelli and Nathan Cleverly in winning the Geoffrey Simpson Award and I don’t anticipate too long a wait before he also emulates their world title success.
Very much like his performances in the ring, Liam swept aside the opposition, with the other shortlisted candidates not gathering more than a single vote.
The fast hands, quick feet and bludgeoning power of the Clydach Vale boy have caught the imagination of the fight public, who are now following him in huge numbers.
There is no doubting where the credit is due for reigniting the fervour in Welsh boxing and it is down to him that Cardiff is now once again a fixture on the fight calendar.
For boxing fans there is nothing not to like about Liam. He is charming and a little shy outside of the ring, while skilful and spiteful inside the ropes.
Another thing that appeals is his willingness to take a risk. He has absolutely no hesitation in signing up to face the best available opponents and has no intention of requesting marking time fights.
On his return from a nasty hand injury he was straight into a British title challenge against Kris Carslaw, which came to a swift second round finish, before one fight later headlining in Cardiff against the then unbeaten Gary Corcoran.
On paper it was a tough one to call, with the Wembley man always ready to go to war and proven over championship distance.
Despite having not previously gone beyond eight, Liam had plenty left in the tank to bring about an 11th round stoppage.
If Liam plans on giving his Lonsdale belt a permanent home, he has to do it the hard way, because another unbeaten fighter is ready and waiting to step into the Cardiff cauldron, now on the new date of November 26 due to Liam suffering an injury in training.
Ahmet Patterson brings a completely different skill set to the ring to that of Corcoran. The former street dancer has got all the moves and is unlikely to stand and trade in the manner of his Peacock Gym co inhabitant.
If Liam can solve the Patterson puzzle, a world title shot will be beckoning next year, along with potentially another absolute cracker of a domestic dust-up against Liam Smith.
Now that would be some fight!
Tyson Fury has made the right call in moving to end the conjecture over the future of his titles by vacating the belts and allowing the heavyweight train to proceed to its next destinations.
Tyson himself will now hopefully be afforded the time, space and support to resolve his own issues away from the glare of publicity.
I certainly believe he will come again and I am confident we will see him reclaiming his lost property at some point next year.