Liam Smith and Liam Williams rematch scheduled for Newcastle

Liam Williams (left) punches Liam Smith
Williams (left) had not lost in his 17 professional fights before facing Smith

Liam Smith will face Liam Williams in a rematch in Newcastle on 28 October, which will be an eliminator for the WBO light-middleweight title.

Smith, 28, won a controversial fight in April after Williams was withdrawn by his corner at the start of the 10th round because of a badly cut eye.

The Welshman, 25, said the injury, which required plastic surgery, was a result of a "blatant" Smith headbutt.

Williams led on all three judges' scorecards at the time.

Victory for Smith extended his record to 25-1-1, while defeat was Williams' first in an 18-fight career.

Despite winning, Liverpool's Smith was not crowned WBO interim champion because of his failure to make the weight before the bout.

Puerto Rico's Miguel Cotto will fight Japan's Yoshihiro Kamegai for the vacant WBO title in August, with the winner facing a mandatory defence against the winner of Smith v Williams.

The title has been vacant since Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez relinquished the belt to move up to middleweight, and he will challenge Gennady Golovkin for the WBC, IBF, IBO and WBA Super world titles in September.

The rematch had been expected to be staged in Manchester.

"I'm delighted to bring this huge rematch to Newcastle which is a city with a rich tradition of big fight nights. In the past I have bought shows with Ricky Hatton, Joe Calzaghe, Nigel Benn and Prince Naseem Hamed to Newcastle and I'm sure this is set to rival the very best that we've done there," promoter Frank Warren said.

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