LIAM SMITH and Liam Williams will meet in a highly-anticipated rematch in September, according to promoter Frank Warren.
Liverpool’s Smith handed Williams his first professional loss earlier this month when the Welshman was pulled out by his trainer after sustaining a horrific cut.
Given the ferocity of the clash, which saw Smith come on strong in the later rounds after Williams had bossed the earlier sessions, and the controversial finish, both fighters and fans have called for a rematch, which looks set to go ahead.
“I’ve spoken to them, they both want it and we’re confident it will happen in September,” Warren told Boxing News.
“That gives them plenty of time to recover from the cuts and injuries from the first fight, they both need to be 100 per cent for a rematch.”
There was drama before the first bell too when Smith failed to make weight a day before the clash. When he initially weighed in heavy, he was wrongfully told he only had one hour to shift almost two pounds. Deeming that insufficient time to safely lose the weight, Smith and his team felt he could not do it. However, per the WBO rules – whose ‘Interim’ world title was on the line – fighters have two hours to lose any excess poundage before attempting to weigh in again. Smith was only informed of this when it was too late, and so he couldn’t successfully weigh in again, thus meaning he could not win the WBO title.
“I’m hoping, at worst, the rematch is for an interim world title,” Warren continued.
“Firstly at the weigh-in Smith was meant to have two hours but was only told he had one and then there was the cut that stopped it, so we’ll get it done again to see who the best man really is.”
Had Smith made weight, he would now be in prime position to once again become world champion. Canelo Alvarez, who took the WBO world title from Smith last year, recently confirmed he would not be returning to 154lbs, meaning an ‘Interim’ champion would likely have been elevated to full champion.
Besides Smith-Williams II, Warren also confirmed that British super-lightweight champion Tyrone Nurse will fight highly-touted mandatory challenger Jack Catterall later this year.
“Catterall against Tyrone Nurse will also happen in the summer, so we’re making the fights the fans want to see,” he said.
This past weekend, Tommy Langford was stopped by Avtandil Khurtsidze in Leicester in the main event of a Queensbury show broadcast on BT Sport and BoxNation. Going up against a Matchroom show in Liverpool on Sky Sports, Warren is very pleased with how things went.
“Obviously I’m disappointed with the Tommy Langford result but other than that it was an excellent show with good matches,” he said.
“I was extremely pleased with all the performances from our guys. I thought Lyon Woodstock was outstanding, I think he’ll be a big star. Anthony Yarde was punch perfect, he was calm, collected, he’s got fast hands. Daniel Dubois did what he had to do, it was a decent opponent for him and he handled it well, he showed great hand speed.
“I thought the [Darryll] Williams fight [against Jahmaine Smyle] was a great fight, a candidate for domestic fight of the year. I was pleased that in the ratings, BT beat Sky. As I said, with a level playing field it’ll be interesting, and that’s without the tens of thousands of fans who tuned in on BoxNation as well.”