Undefeated British Super-Welterweight Champion Liam Williams (15-0-1, 10 KOs) came face-to-face with unbeaten challenger Ahmet Patterson (17-0, 13 KOs) for the first time at today’s press conference in Cardiff ahead of their mouth-watering clash at the Motorpoint Arena next Saturday, live and exclusive on BoxNation.
Williams currently sits at number three in the WBO World rankings, with Patterson ranked slightly lower in 14th place. The winner of next week’s showdown could potentially move into the mandatory position for Canelo’s WBO crown. Mexico’s Alvarez may choose to vacate his title in the pursuit of another at a different weight – should he do so, Williams or Patterson may find themselves fighting for the vacated crown in the not too distant future. A match-up with fellow Frank Warren stable mate Liam Smith could also be on the cards for the winner of Williams v Patterson.
Clydach Vale powerhouse Williams is enjoying an unforgettable 2016 after picking up the prestigious Boxing Writers’ Best Young Boxer of the Year award and defeating bitter rival Gary Corcoran on a memorable night back in July. Known by many as simply ‘The Machine’, Williams knows if he overcomes his latest challenger a World title shot could be just around the corner.
“Ahmet has got everything to be honest,” said Williams. “He can go back and forward really well, he’s a good puncher and a good mover. I’m expecting a very tough fight but I have prepared very well for Ahmet and will come in at 100% next Saturday.
“I rate Ahmet very highly, he’s a very good boxer but just like him, I am very confident and expect to win. It’s been a great year for me and I want to sign off with another memorable win in Cardiff. There’s going to be a lot of excited Welshmen in the arena and they’ll be in full voice.
“I was disappointed with my last performance against Gary Corcoran but I ticked boxes. There are more positives to take from it. It means a lot to me to be fighting at a venue that saw some memorable fights with Joe Calzaghe and Enzo Maccarinelli, it’s a special place.
“I have a high ranking with the WBO and there are some potentially huge fights coming up in 2017 for me. I have a job to do next week and I’m fully focused on that.”
Dulwich dancer Ahmet Patterson promised to outbox Williams in the Dragons’ den next Saturday. The Martin Bowers prodigy completely outclassed Ryan Aston last time out at York Hall back in January to pick up the IBF International belt and is confident of securing his second title of the year in the famous Lonsdale belt.
“This is a platform to set things up for massive future fights and opportunities. Liam is a British champion and I have a lot of respect for him. He’s got himself into a strong position and it will be an interesting fight next Saturday. I respect him as a fighter but this is business and I believe in my abilities.
“I don’t really believe in the game plan thing. A true champion adapts to what’s in front of him and I’ll be prepared for whatever Liam comes at me with. I don’t feel under any pressure fighting in Wales. It’s a ring, it doesn’t matter what happens outside of it. I feed off it.”
Williams and Patterson’s hotly-anticipated British title showdown is part of a huge night of boxing at the Motorpoint Arena. WBO World Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders makes the maiden defence of his crown against Brooklyn-based Russian Artur Akavov; Manchester’s WBO Lightweight Champion Terry Flanagan defends his World title for the fourth time against Puerto Rico’s Orlando Cruz; Liverpool’s Tom Stalker makes the first defence of his European Lightweight strap against long-term rival Craig Evans and Birmingham’s Tommy Langford faces-off with Sheffield’s Sam Sheedy for the Vacant British Middleweight title.
SHEEDY SLAMS LANGFORD AHEAD OF TASTY BRITISH MIDDLEWEIGHT SHOWDOWN
Shifty Sheffield southpaw Sam Sheedy is promising to spice up the domestic middleweight scene, writes Glynn Evans.
After a sombre eight year pro apprenticeship, the 28 year old from the Steel City intends to announce himself by upsetting unbeaten Baggie bomber Tommy Langford in what looks a quality pairing for the Commonwealth and vacant British titles at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena on Saturday week. BoxNation screen live.
‘All Langford has got is fitness,’ claims ‘Speedy’ Sheedy who has won 17 of 18.
‘He’s a boring straight up boxer. He’s good at what he does – jab, right hand – but there’s no boisterousness, no flamboyancy. I’ve got far more ability and personality than Langford.
‘I guarantee Tommy’s not as mentally strong as me and I also believe he’s got a suspect chin. He was rocked several times in the amateurs and is frightened of taking a shot. His brother was just the same. It runs in the family!’
The slippery 5ft 11in skilster from Glyn Rhodes’ Sheffield Boxing Centre earned his chance with a wafer thin 10 round split decision over Redditch roughhouse Andrew ‘D’Animal’ Robinson at Rotherham’s Magna Centre in late July. However, slammin’ Sam warns it would be foolish to judge him on that close shave.
‘Back then, I was training very hard but not very intelligently. I was focussing too much on
strength and not enough on boxing,’ states Sheedy who is managed by AJ Hobson.
‘Going into the fight I picked up a bad back injury and, even on adrenalin, was only operating at about 70%. I was unable to warm up and my dressing room, which is usually bubbling, was really down.
‘I was unable to move properly and didn’t perform anywhere near as well as I could’ve. Robinson really stepped up his game and was relentless. I’ve still no idea how I managed to get through.’
Though the showdown with Langford represents his first major title gig, the former bricklayer has been honing his fighting skills for 17 years.
‘When I were 11, the Rocky films were on TV on consecutive Saturday nights and that’s when I fell in love with boxing,’ he explains.
‘I started going to the Sheffield Boxing Centre and, though I were never a natural scrapper, I immediately became fascinated by the art of boxing, the tactical side. For me, it was physical chess, trying to outwit the opponent. I loved the science behind it; make ‘em miss, make ‘em pay!’
‘I only won 26 of my 52 amateur bouts. Our matchmaker didn’t match us to win, he matched us to learn and I served a good apprenticeship. I won a lot more towards the end of my amateur career and fought some good lads. Liam Smith beat me in the junior ABA semis.
‘I have to blame Glyn a bit for my lack of success in the amateurs. He were pretty disliked by the amateur brigade. Our gym got no favours.’
Sheedy opted to punch for pay shortly after his 20th birthday and nailed the Central Area super-welter belt with a savage one round slaughter of Doncaster’s Jason Ball in start number seven.
However, impressive early career wins over the likes of Terry Carruthers, Max Maxwell and Bradley Pryce sent rival contenders diving into their bunkers and Sam’s passage to title contention proved laborious.
He explains: ‘My problem is, I drive opponents insane!
‘People don’t even want to spar with me because I’m so awkward and tricky. After our fight, Bradley Pryce tweeted he’d never boxed anyone as tricky as me and he’s been in with all the champions. However, because I’m not with a big promoter, it’s been easy to avoid me.
‘On top of that, early in my career I had almost two years out with an injury. My hip kept popping out of the socket which restricted my running and eventually I got fed up with it. But everything that’s happened in the past has just set me up for now. I couldn’t be more switched on.’
His aspirations were further thwarted when he copped the rough end of a 10 round tear up with fellow Tyke Nav Mansouri for the English super-welter strap 16 months ago. It remains the solitary blemish on his slate.
‘From my end, nothing went wrong in the Mansouri fight,’ claims Sheedy who dropped a split.
‘I know of only two people in the hall that night who thought Nav won but unfortunately both happened to be judges! Nav’s a very good friend of mine but we both know who really won.
‘But boxing down at light-middle my power was restricted and I was content to just cruise to victory. Today, up at 160, I’m a different animal. I’m bullying 14st men in sparring.
‘Having survived the bombs of the likes of Bradley Pryce, Nav and Andrew Robinson, I know I’ve got a good chin. Now I’m more prepared to risk taking a few to land my own power punches.’
And the cocksure contender claims the minor injuries to headline acts Billy Joe Saunders and Liam Williams which forced the Cardiff carnival to be placed on hold for five weeks have significantly increased his chance of springing an upset.
‘Initially the Langford camp thought they’d got me on three and a half weeks notice but, because of the delay, now I’ve had a nine week camp. There’ll be no excuses from my end,’ says Sheedy, the mandatory Commonwealth challenger, who was slipped in after Chris Eubank Jnr cried off.
‘Langford’s not even the best fighter I’ve faced – Nav Mansouri is better – but it will be the biggest occasion of my career. Still, I was made for the cameras and I’ll thrive off the atmosphere.
‘I expect Tommy to try to steam me early but he’ll be too eager. I’ll catch him with my counters and finish him, probably with my left hook over the top. He can’t survive the bombs that Andrew Robinson withstood.’
‘I’ve served my apprenticeship under the radar and now I’m ready for all the major titles. Though I’m 28, I’m still very young, very fresh. Victory in Cardiff will give me options left, right and centre.
‘Tommy’s already found his level but I want so much more. I won’t only be British and Commonwealth champion, I intend to rule the world!’
Taylor faces Kopinska on pro debut
Katie Taylor will face Karina Kopinska on her pro debut at The SSE Arena, Wembley in London on Saturday November 26, live on Sky Sports.
Taylor makes her hotly anticipated bow in the paid ranks after turning over following her glittering career as Ireland’s most decorated amateur boxer.
The 30 year old’s 15 year career garnering five World titles, six European titles and Olympic gold at the London 2012 games where she was her nation’s flagbearer.
The first obstacle in the way of Taylor’s path to World titles and beyond is Kopinska, the 27 year old Pole entering her 25th pro bout, promising to provide an early examination of Taylor having taken the WBC Super-Featherweight champion Eva Wahlstrom the distance and will be boxing for the second time in London. Taylor will be looking to kick-off with a commanding win as she then heads to the Manchester Arena on December 10 on the undercard of the IBF World Heavyweight title defence of fellow Olympic gold medal star Anthony Joshua MBE.
Taylor’s clash with Kopinska is part of a huge night of action as Tommy Coyle and John Wayne Hibbert clash in a must-win Super-Lightweight battle.
Ohara Davies challenges WBC Silver Super-Lightweight champion Andrea Scarpa, Martin J. Ward defends his British Super-Featherweight title, Reece Bellotti is meets Ian Bailey in an eliminator for the English Featherweight crown, Conor Benn fights for the sixth time in the paid ranks and fellow unbeaten youngsters Jake Ball, Craig Richards and Ted Cheeseman look to end 2016 with a bang.
Hearn: We’ll see if Ohara hype is real at Wembley
Eddie Hearn says Ohara Davies is in at the deep-end in his challenge for the WBC Silver Super-Lightweight title against champion Andrea Scarpa – but he’s backing Davies to shine at The SSE Arena, Wembley on Saturday November 26, live on Sky Sports.
The unbeaten Hackney talent picked up his first title in April by swatting aside Andy Keates for the vacant English Lightweight crown at The O2 inside four rounds, before moving up to Super-Lightweight and adding stoppage wins ten and 11 in his last two outings.
Davies faces a real step-up in class in his second pro title bout though, as Italian Scarpa returns to the capital where he picked up the belt he defends in impressive style. The 29 year old dominated John Wayne Hibbert at The O2 in June, flooring the badly cut Essex man in the fifth before the contest was waved off in the next session.
The 6ft Italian, unbeaten in 19, will pose a real threat to Davies’ ambitions to fight for more major titles in 2017, but Hearn is confident ‘Two Tanks’ will pass his toughest test.
“At some point in a fighters career you get to find out if the hype is real and November 26 we get to find out everything we need to know about Ohara Davies,” said Hearn. “He is going way beyond previous levels with Scarpa but the team believe he is a very, very special talent.
“Victory against an experienced Scarpa will prove that and put him deep in the WBC rankings. I can see him moving quick from here and even challenging for World honours in 2017.”