British middleweight champion Denzel Bentley is tipping Demetrius Andrade to successfully defend his WBO 160lbs title against Liam Williams on Saturday night.
Williams, the WBO mandatory challenger, has been waiting patiently for the opportunity and after months of verbal exchanges the Brit and the American will finally lock horns in a potentially fascinating clash which will be broadcast on DAZN from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Florida.
“It’s a good fight. I rate Demetrius Andrade highly. I do think Andrade will win that but it’s a very, very good fight,” Bentley (14-0-1, 12 KOs) told Boxing Social this week.
“It’s a close fight and I do think Liam Williams can pull it off if he plays his cards right and if Demetrius Andrade comes in thinking, ‘Oh, it’s just another one of them Brits, get him over with and move on to a unification fight’. If he comes in with that mindset then Williams might eat him up.”
Bentley feels that everything is set-up for the champion to win his fourth title defence but he will need to have the right mindset on the night.
“Demetrius Andrade has got a better skillset, he’s the better boxer, has a longer reach, all the attributes and is fighting from the southpaw position. It’s all in his favour really but his mind has got to be right,” said Bentley.
“I know he’s been chasing the big fight and sometimes chasing the big fight for that long and not getting it can kind of throw you off the fights you don’t want. Fights like a mandatory that you need to get rid of because he knows he’s levels above them. He might not come in with that same killer mindset that he would if he was to get the fight that he wanted or chased. If his eye is on the ball knowing every fight he gets, regardless, is a dangerous fight then we’re going to see a Demetrius Andrade win. I’ve got it 60-40 in Andrade’s favour, but I wouldn’t write Liam Williams off.”
A Williams win however suddenly brings Bentley into world title contention. The WBO No.9 contender from Battersea is promoted by Frank Warren, as is Williams, and history shows us that the promoter loves nothing more than an all-British world title fight. The Welshman and the Englishman have some history, too. The usual shots have been fired across social media platforms, so the story already has some pages filed. Bentley though has to come through Commonwealth champion Felix Cash next weekend in what could be a must-see tear-up on BT Sport.
Bentley admitted though that the thought of him fighting Williams for the world title had crossed his mind when Boxing Social put the scenario to him.
“That’s a nice way to look at things,” he said. “I do think about it because I want to be a world champion. I think about every possibility of getting there. I’ve got to come through next Saturday and he’s [Williams] got to come through this Saturday so until then it’s not something I can dwell on.
“You don’t know what way it’s going to go. I’m hoping for the best, I’m hoping it pans out like that. I’ve heard Frank talk about it as well that at the end of the year that could be a possible match-up. And hearing it from Frank excites me. It makes me believe he’s willing to make these fights. If we come through our next fights then it’s probably the obvious match-up because there’s been a bit of back and forth on Twitter, nothing too offensive, we both know who each other are, I’m rising quickly so it’s only right to at least try and make that fight. He gets a voluntary defence and, if he thinks it’s easy money, then he’ll take it. All depends on how it plays out at the end of the day.”
Main image: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA.