Liam Williams: ‘If Alantez Fox starts swinging with me he’s going to get knocked out’
Liam Williams might be likeable beneath the snarls but for now he’s been cast as British boxing’s angry man. Sure, he’s been happy with a successful 2019 which has seen him earn three victories but he wants more, he wants it now, he wants the best and he wants titles.
The Welshman is not discriminating, either. He doesn’t care who he fights, where he gets them. He just wants to move his own career forwards. It’s a thoroughly refreshing take.
He meets tall American Alantez Fox (26-1-1, 12 knockouts) on Saturday at London’s Copper Box Arena and while he’s not taking his eye off the target, he wants greater prey than Fox.
“From my view it ’s been fantastic, I’ve had a couple of good wins which leaves me where I am now, fighting Saturday in an eliminator,” Williams told The Ring. “As long as I come through Saturday, which I fully believe I will – and I don’t just want to scrape through – I want a good win, I want to go into next year on a high and get into those big fights.”
Williams is not backwards coming forwards, in or out of the ring. He’s tangled with fighters including David Lemieux and Willie Monroe on social media, as well as the man he could be next in line to face, WBO middleweight titleholder Demetrius Andrade.
“Anybody with any relevance I’ve been on to,” he said.
“I’m well open to any offers because I just want to get the big opportunities and the big chances. Where it is or who it is with, it doesn’t matter because I just want to fight the best and have the opportunity. Right now, it’s looking like Andrade is the way forward. I fully believe I can beat Andrade. He’s good, does everything very well, better than very well he’s a class act, but there’s certain areas I think I’m better than him and I believe I can beat him.”
He’s called fighters out at every turn but the return calls haven’t been so vociferous.
“Everyone’s got their opinion,” Williams said, of whether he has become one of boxing’s more avoided men. “I believe I’m being avoided by some people. Others have got their reasons with different promoters and different TV channels, it’s just the way boxing is these days, but it’s frustrating at times; just because somebody should get a chance it doesn’t mean that they are getting that chance. It’s a bit of a piss take, but it is what it is. You’ve just got to keep working away and it will come I’m sure.”
He has been training with Dominic Ingle for more than a year and he’s been in the lively Wincobank Gym with Kell Brook, Kid Galahad and Billy Joe Saunders. They all spur one another on.
“I’m probably the happiest I’ve been since I’ve been involved in professional boxing,” he continued, before referring back to his amicable parting with former coach Gary Lockett. “I was there a lot of the time on my own and I was digging in and I’d look around me and I was on my own. It helps when you’re in a gym and you’re all on the same path and you have these big goals. It’s difficult when you’re there and there’s no one you can relate to.”
Brook has held a world title. Saunders has had two. Galahad has boxed for world honours. Williams (21-2-1, 16 KOs), is desperate for his turn, but 6-foot-4 Fox comes first.
“I respect him as a fighter,” he said. “I don’t want to disrespect him as a person as I have no reason to, but I don’t like him. I don’t want to be friends with him. At the end of the day I don’t want to be friends with him and I’ve set out to put him in his place and do damage to him, so I’m not going to be his friend. We will shake hands after but until then I don’t want to speak a word to him.
“Most of the stuff I’ve seen from Fox is he’s on the backfoot, keeping it at range and being quite elusive. I don’t think he’s going to stand and fight because he’s going to get knocked out and that’s not me being over-confident. I believe that if he starts swinging with me he’s going to get knocked out. I think he will try to play it safe, nick the rounds and be clever and look after himself, but I’ve got a good game plan in place. I don’t see how he’s going to beat me on Saturday. I’ve got too much in the tank for him.”
The main event features unbeaten heavyweight star Daniel Dubois in action against Japan’s Kyotaro Fujimoto. The show will be televised by BT Sport in the U.K and ESPN+ in the U.S.