Welsh middleweight says world title chance has ‘come at a very good time for me and a bad time for Demetrius Andrade’
Liam Williams will execute “educated pressure” as he seeks to dethrone undefeated American Demetrius Andrade of the WBO middleweight title on Saturday. Williams, 28, is the underdog but insists it will be the champion’s “toughest test to date”.
“This fight’s been on the horizon for some time now. I think it’s come at a very good time for me,” Williams told Telegraph Sport as he bids to become the 13th Welsh fighter to claim a world crown.
“Everything is sweet in my life outside and inside the gym. I’m in a good place. I do think it’s come at a very good time for me and a bad time for Demetrius Andrade.”
Williams has a chance to join the likes of Joe Calzaghe, Jimmy Wilde, Howard Winstone and Tommy Farr – all Welsh legends – with a world title belt.
“It would be unreal to go along the likes of them,” he said. “But winning a world title changes nothing, it wouldn’t change me as a person. I’ll still walk down the road with the same clothes on and same attitude. The biggest thing for me winning a world title would be making everyone proud who invested in me as a kid. That’s what really matters.”
When is Williams vs Andrade?
The fight takes place in Hollywood, Florida, on Saturday, April 17 – with the main event at some point after 10.30pm BST.
What are the fighters saying?
The strategy is key. Williams has stopped his last seven opponents and is a rugged, durable fighter, who will need to take the awkward Andrade into the trenches.
“Let’s be honest, it’s no secret that there’s a certain way I need to approach a fight. If I dance round the outside of the ring, sit on the ropes and try and jab his head off, anybody with a bit of boxing knowledge will know that’s not going to work for me,” Williams told Telegraph Sport.
“I can do that. I can box, don’t get me wrong. But against the likes of [Andrade] that’s not going to work. He’s a talented, skilful southpaw. It’s always going to be a difficult task however I manage it. If I try and stand long and outbox him, it isn’t going to be the way for me.”
Williams added: “We’ve got a very specific gameplan we’re going to follow. I believe I’m going to knock it straight on the head. I go to sleep thinking of him, I wake up thinking of him…That’s me being fully focused on him. If my mind was elsewhere I’d have to question how focused I really was on beating him.”
“Everyone says he is a tough guy. Well I am the greatest in the world,” Andrade told the Costello and Bunce Podcast.
“I don’t understand why people say he is tough. Why isn’t he the champion? He lost twice against Liam Smith and how tough is Liam Smith? Why am I going to be afraid of a guy who couldn’t beat Liam Smith?”
How can I watch the fight?
The card is being shown in the UK on the DAZN subscription service.
Who is on the undercard?
Carlos Gongora vs Christopher Pearson (IBO world super-middleweight title)
Mahammadrasul Majidov vs Andrey Fedosov (heavyweight)
Movladdin Biyarslanov vs Israel Mercado (super-lightweight)
Otha Jones III vs Jorge David Castaneda (lightweight)
Alexis Espino vs Ty McLeod (middleweight)
Aaron Aponte vs Javier Martinez (super-lightweight)