Smith vs Williams a real 50/50


Saturday night’s boxing looks a classic

Fight fans have a puzzle to solve on Saturday night at the Manchester Arena as Liam Smith and Liam Williams do battle over the interim WBO super-welterweight world title. It has left traders scratching their heads, meaning it’s one worth figuring out, as there’s plenty of value available.

Click here to place your bets on Saturday night’s boxing, shown live on BT Sport – with Coral giving enough to build a handy accumulator – or read on as we give our expert boxing betting tips, including our winner of this war.

Beefy suffers weight issues

Liam Smith dreamed of being crowned world champion in Manchester on Saturday night in front of a packed-out arena, but weight issues have cost him dear. The 28-year-old member of a proud fighting family shot himself in the foot and saw his challenge fall apart on those dreaded scales – the bane of every fighter’s life. He stepped on over the championship limit, meaning the fight was on, but he could not win the title. If opponent Williams gets the W, he will pick-up the strap, as he did his part in the gym, easing inside the weight limit with zero fuss.

That would’ve come as a hammer-blow to Smith, but it is beyond his control now, and he must concentrate on what he has a say over, and that is beating the man in the opposite corner. 5ft 9inch Scouser Liam Smith will duck between the ropes showing a CV of 24 wins against one draw and a single defeat. That reverse will be easily forgiven by backers, as it came against the might of Saul Alvarez in America on his penultimate go.

Smith bounced back to winning ways with a points cheer over journeyman Marian Cazacu only last month, and he has been marked as a 10/11 shot with Coral to double up. A win inside the distance looks unlikely, an 11/4 shot at present.

Unbeaten Williams can be world champ

5ft 10inch orthodox boxer Liam Williams may not go as well-known as his opponent, but he takes an unbeaten record into the contest, reading 16 wins and a draw from 17 starts. What will cause Smith’s camp a few sleepless nights is the Welshman’s 65 per cent KO average. The banger from Church Village hasn’t seen a rival stand-up to the onslaught and go the distance in almost four years. Another KO/TKO win is yours at 7/2.

Williams’ best performance to date came in a stoppage win over my old TKO Gym mate Gary Corcoran for the British title last summer, delighting fans in Cardiff by winning what also looked a 50/50 match-up to get the Lonsdale belt around his waist. In a real crossroads fight for both warriors, that announced the victor’s arrival on the scene.

Backers keen to stick with the form can have Liam Williams to get win number 17 of his career at 10/11 with Coral. I did say the trading team in Stratford were at a loss to separate these two, and the odds prove it.

Smith’s experience to come into play

It’s a shame to see Beefy fail to make the championship weight, and I make it even more of a shame that I am going to go against the man who did things the right way, but I do think Smith will take this. That trip to America and sharing a ring with a great of the game like Canelo Alvarez would’ve taught him so much early in his career. He should call on the lessons learned there to get through a tough night at 10/11.

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