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Frank Warren exclusive on Hamzah Sheeraz vs Liam Williams

Frank Warren

Boxing

Frank Warren exclusive on Hamzah Sheeraz vs Liam Williams

Frank Warren exclusive on Hamzah Sheeraz vs Liam Williams

Fight week is upon us and we’re just days away from seeing whether Hamzah Sheeraz can pass his acid test and beat the explosive and menacing Liam Williams.

At last week’s open workout, the unbeaten middleweight seemed a little perturbed that most of the questions fired at him concerned the threat Williams poses and how he would deal with it. Sheeraz was extremely keen to remind people that he is a talented, dangerous fighter in his own right. For the latest fight odds, visit our sportsbook.

Hearing that Sheeraz is determined to prove a point was music to show promoter Frank Warren’s ears.

“Hamzah’s got that little bit of edge to him”

Frank Warren

“I like to hear that. I like that he’s got that little bit of edge to him. That’s really good,” Warren told 32Red.

“He’s a good kid and I’ll tell you something, if he can do it it’ll be great for the game. He’s a nice boy, he’s clean cut, he’s a real decent kid.

“Who knows what happens in the future with him moving up to super middleweight. But the bottom line here is that he’s a young man, he’s ambitious and he can really fight. I haven’t seem him under the cosh yet but to his credit, nobody has managed to put him there yet. He had that one fight with Bradley Skeete where he had a few tricky rounds but I think so much was made of that.”

Warren has been pushing Sheeraz’s claim as a future world champion since he turned professional back in 2017. At 6ft 3in tall with fast hands and good reflexes, the 24 year old has all the physical tools and is level headed and dedicated. This weekend we should get to see his boxing IQ and heart tested.

He may have fallen short against top fighters like Liam Smith, Demetrius Andrade and Chris Eubank Jnr. But Warren worked with Williams for years and is all too aware that at his best the Welshman is an accomplished, dangerous fighter with knockout power and ambition of his own.

Over the years Warren has proven to be an expert of choosing the right fight at the right time for fighters looking to jump to world level. On paper, this is the ideal fight for Sheeraz. Fights are fought on canvas, however.

“Liam definitely has a fight in him”

Frank Warren

“I just hope we’ve got it right because Liam will definitely have a fight in him,” Warren said. “What you’ve gotta do with Liam is take the fight out of him. He can drop his chin and get a bit despondent. So Hamzah has gotta go in there and be the boss right from the very beginning. Don’t let him set himself. Liam’s a good fighter though.”

Boxing is a thinking man’s sport. Fighters need to be thinking a step or two ahead, setting up plans and then executing them when the moment arrives. Promoters have to think the same way.

Unbeaten British middleweight champion Nathan Heaney sits at number four in the WBO rankings whilst Sheeraz is currently ranked at number five whilst Williams is right there at number six. Heaney defends his British title against Brad Pauls on March 16th and is looking for an opponent and fight big enough to justify a fight at the home of his beloved Stoke City this summer.

A massive piece of that particular jigsaw should fit into place this weekend. Provided there is a clear winner between Sheeraz and Williams this weekend, then we suddenly have a natural world title eliminator, a massive event and the winner would have more than earned a shot at unified WBO and IBF middleweight champion, Janibek Alimkhanuly. Warren has high hopes that Sheeraz can come through and put himself in the picture to be part of a major summer showdown.

“I do like that. I think if he comes through this fight and looks good doing it and then Heaney wins in March, that is a very good situation,” he said. “You think about what a problem Denzel Bentley gave the champion [Bentley lost a competitive decision to Janibek in 2022] – and he could have won that fight in my opinion if he’d started earlier – and then I think about Hamzah, I’d fancy Hamzah against him. I really would.”

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