Control The Aggression.
Liam Williams, by his own admission, is fuelled by anger. Broadly speaking, it works for him; 18 stoppages in 23 wins can attest to that. However, on occasion rather than channelling his rage into devastating performances, he allows himself to become consumed by it, to the point where tactics go out the window and his only concern is inflicting pain.
Williams’ last allowed to anger to take over in 2016, when he faced Gary Corcoran. The pair had exchanged plenty of insults in the build-up and Williams appeared to take his rival’s words personally.
Despite being the bigger man and the more well-schooled boxer, Williams engaged in a foul-filled war of attrition. Williams’ then-trainer Gary Lockett desperately attempted to get his charge to focus on the gameplan between rounds, but Williams refused to heed his coach’s advice.
Ultimately, Williams’ decision to participate in a bad-tempered brawl paid off as he halted Corcoran in the 11th round. Tonight, such ill-discipline could cost him dearly. Chris Eubank Jr is not Gary Corcoran. The Englishman will likely be the bigger of the pair, the physical stronger. Eubank Jr also possesses an offensive arsenal that Corcoran did not.
Despite Williams’ run of destruction since moving up to middleweight, he is a boxer rather than a brawler. If he is to win, he must stick to the tactics set out by Adam Booth. However, the fact that Williams has made distasteful remarks this week stating that he would like to kill his rival, it appears unlikely he will do so, particularly with a partisan crowd urging him to inflict damage.
Keep The Head Up.
Throughout his career, Liam Williams has had a habit of allowing his head to fall in front of his lead foot. As a result, clashes of heads have occurred regularly. Williams has often found himself coming off worse in such incidents.
It was a head clash which curtailed his hopes of victory against Liam Smith in their first fight. A nasty cut above William’s eye forced, trainer, Gary Lockett to pull his charge put of the bout.
Williams has also sustained lacerations against Andrew Robinson and Tyan Booth, the latter of which resulted in the fight being halted in the third round.
Injuries are not the only issue this flaw causes, it leaves Williams open for the uppercut. Demetrius Andrade exploited the opening on numerous occasions during Williams’ unsuccessful challenge for the WBO middleweight title.
The right uppercut is one of Eubank Jr’s best shots. The Englishman will throw it at every available opportunity, on occasion, three or four times in a row. Williams will be well aware that it is a punch that is opponent favours, he will need to remain disciplined to ensure he does not inadvertently create the chance Eubank Jr requires.
Against Liam Smith, Williams demonstrated that his jab is world class. For the first six rounds, Smith simply did not have an answer for Williams lead hand. In latter year, Williams has become somewhat right-hand-happy, a little impressed by his own power.
It is hardly surprising, Williams went on a knockout streak which was almost three years long, under the tutelage of Dominic Ingle, with all bar one coming in the first half of the fight.
However, when he challenged Andrade, it became apparent that William’s power does not have the same effect at world level. Eubank Jr is known to have a good chin, having stood up to solid shots from Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan, Arthur Abraham and George Groves. As a result, it is unlikely Williams will be able to dispatch of Eubank Jr in the manner he did Alantez Fox or Mark Heffron.
Furthermore, there is no evidence to suggest Eubank Jr can be outfought. The Englishman’s two defeats have come as a result of being outboxed by Billy Joe Saunders and George Groves.
It is not to say that Williams possesses the same technical ability as Eubank Jr’s conquerors, but Williams’ ability to box is underrated. As an amateur, the Welshman was on the Team GB Development squad before a car accident derailed his hopes of making the London 2012 Olympics.
Having previously worked with Gary Lockett and Dominic Ingle and currently being trained by Adam Booth, Williams is well-schooled.
Eubank Jr is at his best when he is able to work up close. It will be up to Williams to control the distance. The easiest way to do so is to utilise a solid jab. Williams possesses one, it remains to be seen whether he opts to utilise it.
Williams would do will to heed the advice Sugar Hill Steward imparted to Tyson Fury during the third fight with Deontay Wilder: “Just jab the motherfucker, goddammit!”