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British boxing: Liam Smith looks to Williams-Patterson winner, Callum Smith to face Luke Blackledge

Credit: Tom Hogan / Hoganphotos / GBP

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!”

Callum Smith defends British title against mandatory Blackledge

Callum Smith will defend his British Super-Middleweight title against mandatory challenger Luke Blackledge at the Manchester Arena on December 10, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Smith makes a first defence of the title he won in spectacular fashion last November when he knocked out local rival Rocky Fielding in Liverpool inside a round.

The unbeaten 26 year old is looking to move to 22-0 and add to his 16 KO wins, and it represents a chance to showcase his ability ahead of a World title tilt in 2017.

‘Mundo’ is the mandatory for the winner of the unification battle between IBF champion James DeGale MBE and WBC king Badou Jack who meet in Brooklyn on January 14.

Blackledge will want to derail Smith’s plans and rip the British belt from him, and Smith expects a stiff test from the former Commonwealth champion as he awaits his World title shot.

“Luke is a good fighter, he comes to win, he’s game and durable and it promises to be a cracking fight,” said Smith. “I’m proud to be British champion and I’ll defend it until I can get a fight for a World title.

“It was good to see James and Badou finally get their fight signed. I was in Washington in April when they both defended their titles and agreed to meet in a unification and I didn’t think it would take this long for the fight to happen.

“I didn’t think I’d have three fights before getting my chance to fight for the World title but they’re ready to fight and while it’s been a bit frustrating, I’ve been active and learning all the time and it’s exciting that I will be fighting for a World title next year.

“It’s a win-win for me. If Jack wins it’ll probably be in Vegas and that’s every fighter’s dream to fight for a World title in Vegas, but if James wins, which I think he will, then that’s a massive domestic fight and we’ve seen that the British fans love those events.”

Smith’s clash with Blackledge is part of a huge night of action in Manchester as Anthony Joshua MBE defends his IBF World Heavyweight title against Eric Molina.

Jones: Hall has made a big mistake fighting me

Carson Jones says Ben Hall is taking a big risk fighting him on Saturday night at The SSE Arena, Wembley and the American says he’ll KO the Essex man as they clash for the WBC International Silver Super-Welterweight title, live on Sky Sports.

Jones has been a bogey-man for British fighters in the past having given Kell Brook a huge scare in the summer of 2012 and then returning to knock out Brian Rose in 2015.

The Oklahoma danger man now fights in England for the sixth time against the unbeaten but untested Hall, and he’s told the 23 year old that he’ll hand him a damaging first defeat this weekend.

“I’ve watched Ben fight and they’ve made a mistake choosing to fight me,” said Jones. “Ben is a young kid that Matchroom are trying to build up, but they he lacks the necessary experience to be in with someone as tough as me.

“I have more experience in my left pinky than he has in his whole body. I don’t get paid by the hour so hopefully I will get him out of there early and make light work of him.

“When we were approached about this fight, I sat with Abel Sanchez and we discussed it. We both went away and watched some footage, Abel bluntly told me that if I can’t beat him, then I should go find something else to do – as boxing is no longer for me.

“I had already been training hard for four or five weeks with a view that a fight will come along and it has. I wanted to get myself in shape in case anything came up – so we haven’t been training specifically for Ben Hall as it was offered mid-way through. This is easily the most focused I’ve been for years, I feel so sharp and everything is on point.

“How this fight is gonna go? You guys know me – I always predict a stoppage. I’ve got more KO’s than years he’s been on this planet! If he survives my pressure and power early on, I’ll take him in to deep water and it will be all over. But I’ll take the win anyway it comes, if he is a tough kid with plenty of heart and there till the end – it still won’t be enough as I will be the one getting my hand raised and getting the W!”

Jones’ clash with Hall is part of a huge night of action in London as Irish amateur sensation Katie Taylor face Karina Kopinska on her pro debut.