Profile of Welsh boxer Liam Williams (b. 1992), the Church Village man who claimed the Commonwealth light-middleweight title in 2014.
Liam Williams comes from the proud fighting heartland of the Rhondda and is one of the rising stars of the Welsh boxing scene.
The Church Village man turned professional in 2011 after a distinguished amateur career that saw him secure six British amateur titles in a variety of age groups and win 44 of his 49 bouts.
He began his professional career at middleweight at the age of 18 under trainer Vince Cleverly, but later switched to Gary Lockett‘s gym where he says he improved technically and enjoyed sparring with former world champions Gavin Rees and Enzo Maccarinelli.
What’s more, Lockett encouraged Williams to slim down to light-middleweight, a move that helped his career kick on.
Having enjoyed eight straight wins in Wales, Williams suffered his first setback in a December 2013 trip to Liverpool. A clash of heads meant his opponent Tyan Booth had to retire in the third round of their fight, resulting in a technical draw.
But this failed to deter the Welshman from hitting the road, his next bout a win in Rostock, Germany, on the undercard of stablemate Maccarinelli’s unsuccessful challenge for Juergen Braehmer’s world title.
Williams followed this up with a much-praised win over the well-regarded Ronnie Heffron on the Manchester man’s home turf.
A win over Stepan Horvath in Liverpool led Williams into his first major title shot, a challenge for the vacant Commonwealth light-middleweight belt.
His opponent, Michael Lomax, was despatched with ease at Mayfair’s Hilton hotel, giving Williams his first significant bauble as he took his unbeaten record to 12 wins, with seven knock-outs.
The triumph left Williams targeting the British crown and prompted his trainer to predict a big future for the Rhondda man.
“With a little bit of luck he can make it all the way to the top,” Lockett told the BBC. “I wouldn’t say he’s not capable of winning a world title. With a little bit of luck he can definitely win a world title.”
With his profile boosted further by the BBC documentary the Valleys Fighter, the future could hold big things for Williams…