ALMOST invariably in the build up to a fight, a boxer will exhibit ironclad self-confidence. But Joe Mullender adopted a unique approach ahead of Friday’s British middleweight title fight at the Albert Hall against Liam Williams.
“He is the champion and on paper I don’t stand a chance. I do my best and I know I am in for a tough night in the early rounds because if he is a world class fighter he gets me out,” Mullender said. “I’m not a world class fighter on paper and I’ve only fought at English level. He is a very good fighter and I’ve got to try and live with him. My best is all I can do.
“I’m not going to outbox him, am I? That’s not happening so I’ve got to stand there and fight with him and take the punishment. That’s it, I can’t really do anything else. He is better than me in most departments and there is only one department I can have a go at, which I am going to do. If I can go through it, I will stand and have a fight with the man for 12 rounds.”
Liam Williams seems to be relishing the confrontation. “You sound like you’ve lost already, Joe, to be totally honest with you. I honestly believe he is not in my class and he’s not, but what he is is very tough, game and he’s got bags full of [heart], simple as that. I know he will come to fight and we will,” the Welshman said. “This is his biggest opportunity and he keeps trying to downplay it and make out like he doesn’t care.
“I should be on his mind 24/7 but he is playing it down and that is what does my head in. Joe Mullender is getting mullered. I expect to stop him 100 per cent and he is gonna get hurt.”
Another British title fight on the March 8 bill sees Johnny Garton put his welterweight belt on the line against Chris Jenkins. “I remember the spar [with Jenkins], it was a tough one and I really think this is a 50-50 fight. I also think it will be fight of the night, but I leave it all in the ring and I think I will come through this. In any fight you need to get it to be your type of fight and I am sure I will,” Garton said.
“I still don’t think being British champion has sunk in properly. A few months ago nobody knew who I was or paid any attention, now I’ve got press conferences and people wanting to interview me, so it has totally changed. I am lapping it up, enjoying it and hopefully I will get a few more paydays.”