By: Sean Crose
“I don’t think he has the same intensity as me,’ says Liam Williams as he prepares face WBO middleweight titlist Demtrius Andrade. “I wear my heart on my sleeve. I can punch harder than him. I have a better engine than him. I’m going to bring it all on the night and I don’t think he has the answers.” The 23-2-1 Welshman is exuding legitimate confidence in the leadup to the fight, which goes down this weekend at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, Fl. “He’s a clown,” Williams says of the defending champion. “I don’t think he’s wired up right, he’s got a screw loose. His mannerisms, the way he acts and talks on his interviews, he’s just a little bit strange and I can’t put my finger on it. He’s an oddball.”
He may march to the beat of his own drummer, but there’s no doubt the 29-0 Andrade is a high level operator. Although he hasn’t been able to land a high profile match with big names like Gennady Golovkin, Canelo Alvarez, or Jermall Charlo, Andrade has proven himself slick enough in the ring to be widely regarded as a tough out for anyone. That’s something Williams himself is willing to acknowledge.
“It’s a risky fight for both of us,” he says. “He’s the champion and I’m the number one contender. If he loses, the belt goes and that’s his status gone, but the same for me, I’m back to the bottom of the pile, there’s a lot at stake and neither of us will take a backwards step and that’s what will make it a great fight.” This is nothing if not the biggest challenge of the 28 year old William’s career. It’s also the man’s biggest opportunity.
“The outcome is me winning,” he says, “whether that’s over the distance or inside the distance, it doesn’t matter to me. As long as I take that belt back to Britain, I have no doubt about it, I’m super confident and I don’t think there’s any way that he beats me. I think I can knock him out.” Andrade, of course, has other ideas. Yet Williams is nothing if not determined. “I’ve had setbacks,” says Williams. “I’ve had injuries, I’ve been told to retire, so getting my opportunity is a real achievement, but in saying that, this is the beginning of things for me with more massive step-ups and I’m not willing to stop here.”