Boxing: Promoter Frank Warren wants Williams v Smith rematch

Liam Williams connects with an uppercut
Liam Williams connects with an uppercut to Liam Smith

Promoter Frank Warren says he is keen on an "immediate rematch" between boxers Liam Smith and Liam Williams following their controversial fight in Manchester.

Williams, 24, was withdrawn by his corner at the start of the 10th round because of a severely cut eye.

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

Had the clash of heads been recognised, Williams was on course to win.

He was up on all three of the fight judges' scorecards.

Promoter Warren said Williams' performance exceeded his expectations and says he wants the pair to do it all again.

"I want to make the rematch, immediately," he told BBC Wales Sport.

"I am sure Gary and Liam want it, Liam Smith wants it, let's get it made."

'I don't understand how the ref missed headbutt'

Williams' disappointment was compounded by the fact a win would have seen him crowned as the WBO's interim world light-middleweight champion.

In the fight's aftermath, Williams told BBC Wales Sport: "I was caught with a bad headbutt and as you can see, I have two lovely cuts on my eyeballs and I get to go and have plastic surgery," Williams told BBC Wales Sport.

"I am very disappointed that the referee didn't pick it up.

"I am pretty sure if he had seen the heads going, he would have called it.

"It must have been a genuine mistake. I don't understand how he missed it because it was blatant, but there is no point whinging about it."

'Williams was coming apart' - Smith

Former champion Smith, also promoted by Warren, says he is not against giving Williams a rematch, but says talk of the headbutt is just his opponent's camp "making excuses".

"It is what it is. I said what I would do and I did it," Smith explained.

"Would Gary Lockett have pulled him out if he thought he was winning?

"I thought the fight was turning in my favour, 100%.

"I knew Liam was coming apart, I knew it would happen and it did."

Smith said he was "easy" about the prospect of a rematch.

He added: "I don't know what caused the cut, but regardless, if it was a head clash, he was as bad, if not worse, than me, at leaving his head in.

"I was cut from round three. I don't see where the difference is.

"I think it is just an excuse. Clashes of heads happen."

'I understand why Gary Lockett pulled him out' - Warren

Warren says he felt trainer Gary Lockett could have chosen to let the fight continue, which might have led to a different outcome.

"Gary Lockett made the call he made," he said.

"Gary Lockett had a row with the referee, but if he had just bit his tongue - and I know where he is coming from - but maybe Liam wins that fight.

"I am not criticising Gary, it is always easier with hindsight."

'Most people ringside would say I was winning' - Williams

Williams responded: "Gary made the call, I could hardly see, my vision is still blurry now and Gary has my best interests at heart," he said.

"Going back out (to fight the 10th round) would just mean I would be out of the ring even longer than I am going to be now.

"Let's be honest, he (Smith) was saying before that it wasn't even a 50/50 fight, but most people ringside would say I was winning the fight, maybe 6-3 up.

"I was catching him well and it was unfortunate, the way it ended."

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