Liam Williams is being driven by the need to get what he believes is justice in Saturday’s rematch with Liam Smith.
The second clash follows a highly entertaining and bloody first fight on April 8, which Smith won when Williams’ trainer Gary Lockett pulled Williams out of the fight in the ninth round due to a cut eyelid caused by a clash of heads.
They meet again at Newcastle’s Metro Arena in an eliminator for the WBO world super-welterweight title, held by Puerto Rican icon Miguel Cotto who faces American Sadam Ali on Dec. 2.
Smith (25-1-1, 14 KOs), 29, from Liverpool, had improved in the ninth round and looked stronger at the time of Lockett stopping the fight, but trailed 86-85 on all three scorecards.
Williams (16-1-1, 11 KOs), 25, from Rhondda, had surprised many by his impressive start but believes he is even more motivated and better prepared for the rematch.
“This will be better fight than last time because we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” said Williams.
“I’m a lot more determined and got a lot more to prove. I learned a hell of a lot from the last fight.
“The way it ended was disappointing all around for everybody.
“I felt I was winning the last fight comfortably. In a lot of people’s eyes I never lost the fight although I did on paper.
“I’ve been a lot more focused and driven this time around and I want to put an end to it all and move on with my career and achieve goals I’ve set out to achieve.
“I’ve worked a hell of a lot harder and it’s going to be an eye opener for everyone. He’s going to be sharper, he’s going to make the weight better but he won’t want to make it a boxing match because he will just get picked apart.”
Smith, who was also cut in April’s fight, did not claim the interim WBO belt with victory over Williams due to weighing in over the limit the day before.
“For me there was only two outcomes: either him getting disqualified, or going to the cards,” said Williams.
“Either way I would have won both ways because I was up on the scorecards. It’s difficult for me to swallow because I should be lining up to fight Cotto by now.”
Smith, who weighed in almost two pounds over the super-welterweight limit before facing Williams earlier this year, was sluggish and static against in their first fight.
“I was flat,” said Smith, one of four boxing brothers [along with Paul, Stephen and Callum].
“I made a mistake last time. I’ve got people doubting me and writing me off and this has got my full attention.
“Behind the scenes a lot of things played a part, things I can’t mention.
“You [Liam Williams] started well and was winning the fight, but the way the fight ended, you’re playing on the cut now and the cut was a valid excuse for you. The minute you were cut you jumped out, you never let your corner work on the cut.
“If that cut was that bad the referee would have stopped the fight but he [Williams] panicked because the fight was only going one way.
“Liam Williams did not want to carry on, that’s what I mean he was playing on it.”
A world title shot next year awaits the winner.