This weekend, in a cauldron in Cardiff, home hero Liam Williams puts his British super-welter title up for tender against unbeaten Dulwich dance master Ahmet Patterson in a titillating ‘tear-up’ between style opposites.
Glynn Evans hunted down ex WBO king and current UK 11stone leader Liam Smith for the ‘skinny’ on what promises to be one of the best quality domestic duals of 2016.
"I know the two of them better than most.
Presently, I’m without a title and if I’ve no other offers presented, the winner of this is one I might ask for.
In the recent past, Williams was mandatory for my British title for about a year but always said he wasn’t ready. Now he’s talking about world titles, he needs to be prepared to face all comers. If he comes through next Saturday, we’d both have two notches on the Lonsdale Belt so that’d be up for grabs for the winner to keep. It’d almost certainly be for a WBO final eliminator, possibly even the vacant title. I’d accept at a heartbeat.
Williams is big at the weight, very solid looking and has a good jab and straight right hand. His accuracy is good and he does the basics well but there’s not too much variety. He’s certainly not this massive one punch knockout artist they’re trying to convince people he is. He’s never knocked anyone ‘cold’.
In his defence against Gary Corcoran, he showed he’s not the hardest to catch and he can easily be dragged away from his game plan. He stopped listening to Gary Lockett. He’s got a big set of balls, I’ll give him that, but that could prove his downfall against a better man than Corcoran. Some say Liam’s underrated but I say he’s overrated. Far too much smoke got blown up his arse for dealing with limited lads like Michael Lomax and Kris Carslaw.
Psychologically, we’ve still to see what Williams is like if things start going against him, especially if he’s fighting in away territory.
Patterson is very slick and has quick hands and excellent movement. Trouble is, he’s not a puncher in the slightest. Far too much was made of his stoppage win over Ryan Aston who was very fragile at light-middle. Ryan boxed his whole amateur career up at middleweight. That definitely flattered Ahmet.
For me, Williams has a big edge in experience and he really needs to capitalise on that from the start. He needs to let Patterson know that he’s the champion and remind Patterson that he’s a long way from home. He needs to assume ring centre and ram in solid jabs followed by the odd right hand; be the boss early on. Be confident. Let Patterson know he’s now fighting an established champ not some imported journeyman, like he’s been fed before.
If I was with the Patterson camp, I’d be advising Ahmet to use his movement, constantly off setting Williams so that he can’t land his jab. He needs to make matters as awkward as possible, nick a few early rounds and force the home fighter to become frustrated before all his fans. As Williams becomes desperate, he’ll start tightening up.
But I’m not sure Patterson is capable of executing that. I expect it to start out cagily but then a good fight should break out. While Williams was under par against Corcoran, he ticked some crucial boxes; proved his fitness and showed he carries his power late. I expect something similar here; Williams winning comfortably on the cards or stopping Patterson late.
I think Williams could have some sort of future at world level if they can get him the right fights. He could probably beat (Germany’s WBA interim champion) Jack Culcay but the other champions at 154 right now are pretty tough. To get to them, he’d need to go through me and that ain’t happening