Boxing: Liam Williams wants to eclipse hero Tommy Farr by winning world title

Liam Smith, Frank Warren and Liam Williams
Liam Smith (left) and Liam Williams (right) will provide a classic fight in April, says promoter Frank Warren (centre)

Welsh boxer Liam Williams says he is ready to eclipse his Welsh boxing hero Tommy Farr by winning a world title.

Farr lost on points to legendary heavyweight Joe Louis in 1937.

Williams, 24, will face Liam Smith at the Manchester Arena on April 8 in a fight is expected to be for the WBO world light middleweight title Smith lost to Saul Alvarez.

"I am excited and really looking forward to it, it is a huge opportunity for me," said Williams.

Promoter Frank Warren is in no doubt as to what boxing fans can look forward to.

"Let me tell you, this will be the fight of the year," he said.

An opportunity to honour Farr

British and Commonwealth champion Williams, who is undefeated as a professional, says a chance to build on the legacy of fellow Clydach Vale fighter Farr is his prime motivation.

Joe Louis v Tommy Farr in 1937
Joe Louis (left) beat Tommy Farr on points in New York

Farr, considered one of Wales' greatest boxers, never won a world title, even though he headlined a show at Yankee Stadium against Louis.

Farr, who won 83 fights in a career that spanned from 1926 until 1953, has inspired Williams for his entire career.

"I believe this fight will end up being a world title fight for the WBO strap and that is a lifetime ambition fulfilled for me," Williams explained.

"Becoming a world champion has been my dream since the day I turned professional.

"There has never been a world champion from where I am from.

"Tommy Farr only lived a stones' throw from where I live now.

"So that is the history I am trying to make and if I can top what Tommy has done, I will be very proud."

Manchester rather than Cardiff

Williams had hoped to face former world champion Smith in Wales.

"I thought it would be in Cardiff, it doesn't really make a difference to me though," said Williams, who has sold out two shows in the Welsh capital.

"It is strange it is not in Cardiff and I was quite shocked, as I have been selling good amounts of tickets.

"If anything, I probably box better away from home.

"I am not bothered one bit by it being in Manchester, I don't believe Liam Smith [from Liverpool] is a big ticket seller, so even in Manchester there will be more people there to watch me than to watch him.

"I will expect to sell 1500 tickets in Manchester, which is good numbers."

Saul Alvarez and Liam Smith
A crowd of 51,240 saw Alvarez (left) beat Smith at the home of the Dallas Cowboys

The chance to be the underdog

Williams knows he will be considered second favourite against Smith, who gave pound-for-pound candidate Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez a tough fight and is seen as a step well above domestic level.

However, he believes he will improve, because of the respect he has for his opponent.

"The bookies will favour him, which again works in my favour, because if someone tells me I can't do something, it makes me show them I can," he added.

"I know people expect him to win, but I will train harder and diet better and knock him over.

"My last couple of opponents, I have had zero respect for them and I've gone in thinking 'I will beat this guy and I will knock him out.'

"That is not always the best way to go into a fight.

"I know I need to be at my best to beat Liam. Unless I am at my best, I am going to lose.

"I really have to be on the ball, I will up my game and I believe I can do it."

Top Stories