As usual, the United Kingdom hosts a bevy of fights this weekend, with several cards getting attention from the sports books.
The big show this weekend sees Frank Warren and his Queenberry Promotions are in Newcastle with a big boxing card that features a pick ’em rematch in the main event spot. Liam Smith and Liam Williams met this past April with an interim WBO world title at stake and that match ended in controversy. Williams suffered a gash to his eye that caused his corner to call a halt to the bout before the start of round ten, with the judges cards showing Williams ahead. Since then, the rivalry has only grown as the Williams camp has held steadfast to the claim that the cut came from a deliberate headbutt by Smith.
This second bout is an eliminator for a world title shot. Though the first fight was for an interim title and this bout is just a “title eliminator” it carries a great deal of importance for Smith. Smith is a former WBO world champion at 154 pounds and he lost that belt in September of 2016 to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. He returned to face Williams in his next bout and now finds himself mired in that rivalry. Smith observers would like to see him dispatch Williams and move himself back into position for a world title shot. Losing to “Canelo” brings no shame with it but avoiding a two fight winning streak is what world class fighters do. He will always hear the talk that the big “Canelo” payday made him soft but he can but some of that talk to rest by dispatching Williams and moving on this Saturday night.
But the snarling Williams has other things in mind. He got a taste of Smith in April and he was ahead on the cards, so he has an air of confidence heading into this rematch. At 25 years old, the younger Williams showed in their first outing that he could hang. That is important because his resume was strictly regional faire until then, but Smith is a former world champion.
Warren has nine fight planned for the live event at the Metro Radio arena this Saturday and several of the support bouts are getting attention from the books. The lines for four other bouts on the card appear below. Obviously in this case, the “Liam vs Liam” fight assures us that the main event is the most competitive line being offered.
Meanwhile, in Scotland, Blaine McGuigan and his Cyclone Promotions are at the Royal Highland Centre with a ten fight boxing card topped by WBC Silver Light Welterweight champion Josh Taylor’s title defense against the experienced Miguel Vasquez. The 26 year old Scotsman won the Silver belt in grand fashion in his last fight, a seventh round stoppage won over previously unbeaten Ohara Davies. In Vasquez he is facing an experienced former World champion who brings a vast 39-5 record to the bout. The line shows Taylor a massive favorite and you can thank the matchmakers for that. Vasquez, for all his resume, is a battle-worn 30 years old and he is several years removed from his world title days. When you toss in the fact that Vasquez’ world titles were in the lightweight division and you start to get a better idea of the picture.
Metro Radio Arena – Newcastle, England
Super Welterweight 12 rounds –
Liam Smith -115 o9½ -180
Liam Williams -105 u9½ +150
Super Bantamweight 12 rounds –
Sean Davis +335
Thomas Patrick Ward -505
Super Lightweight 12 rounds –
Glenn Foot +425
Josh Leather -610
Heavyweight 10 rounds –
Mohamed Soltby +1100
Nathan Gorman -2300
Super Middleweight 8 rounds –
Lewis Taylor +400
Mark Heffron -600
Royal Highland Centre – Edinburgh, Scotland
Super Lightweight 12 rounds –
Miguel Vazquez +2000 o9½ -165
Josh Taylor -4000 u9½ +135
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