We analyse the credentials and statistics of middleweight contenders Hamzah Sheeraz & Liam Williams ahead of their showdown on Saturday 10th February.
When a fighter begins carrying the tag of contender, they are soon on the lookout for that one name which will boost their credentials.
Hamzah Sheeraz could be a middleweight force to be reckoned with, but the 24-year-old needs a win that catches the eye.
Liam Williams, who has shared the ring with Liam Smith, Demetrius Andrade, and Chris Eubank Jr is that man and one who is either walking a path towards retirement as a faded force or taking a detour to be the man who will take Sheeraz into deep waters.
The intrigue is enough to wonder what may happen. Size, youth and power against experience, grit, and Welsh fire. But is it all smoke and no flames? Let’s look at the Tale of the Tape.
|18-0 (14 KOs)
|25-4 (20 KOs)
|Won - (TKO) v Dmytro Mytrofanov (August 2023)
|Won - (TKO) v Florin Cardos (November 2023)
Promoter Frank Warren has believed for some time that his rising middleweight star Hamzah Sheeraz will go all the way to the top. And before a punch is thrown you can see why. Sheeraz stands at 6ft 3ins with knockout power from a body weighing 11st 6lbs in a division where everyone is smaller than him.
The 2021 Boxing Writers’ Club Young Boxer of the Year has barely put a foot wrong in 17 of his 18 fights. His performance and indiscipline during his controversial win over veteran Bradley Skeete (in his 14th fight) was a warning sign that trying to steamroll everyone will only get you so far.
Sheeraz hasn’t gone past the fifth round in his four contests since then and has faced opponents that do not possess the elusiveness of the now retired Skeete.
The 24-year-old doesn’t hit 25 until May so time is on his side but ironically now would be the time to make your mark in the middleweight division. The weight class is lacking a depth of talent and because of this Zhanibek Alimkhanuly has become unified champion having not faced top tier opposition.
Liam Williams is the perfect name for the record of Sheeraz. An explosive performance will create hyperbole and set Sheeraz up for an exciting 2024 where the only way will be up.
|Bradley Skeete showed how to frustrate him
|Showed signs of indiscipline
|Chopping right hand
|Tall frame means the body can be attacked
|Depends a lot on his right hand
One worrying aspect about Liam Williams stepping in with Hamzah Sheeraz is Williams’ performance against Chris Eubank in February 2022.
Their grudge match on Williams’ home turf in Cardiff turned out to be a one-sided mismatch. Williams was down four times in the contest which led to wide scorecards that accurately reflected the action in the ring.
Williams has now reunited with former coach Gary Lockett looking to breathe life into a career that is potentially one defeat away from ending.
The Willams of old would be a nightmare for Sheeraz. The pressure, aggression, inside fighting and some roughhouse tactics which would unsettle the up and comer. But Sheeraz has the kind of advantages in this fight that this version of Williams may find tough to compete with.
|Mileage on the clock
|In your face
All odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.