Frank Warren admits Hamzah Sheeraz is in tough against experienced Liam Williams

Liam Williams has a lifeline back to the big-time next month, but the Welsh former world middleweight contender has it all to do against 18-0 Hamzah Sheeraz.

They top Frank Warren’s February 10 show at London’s Copper Box Arena with 25-4-1 (20 KOs) Williams desperate to prove that, at 31, he has plenty left.

Sheeraz has stopped 14 of his opponents, but Williams – trained by former middleweight title challenger Gary Lockett – is a significant step up in levels. 

“It’s a tough fight,” admitted Warren. “Liam used to be with me and he’s very capable and on his night he’s a very very tough fighter to beat.”

Eight of Sheeraz’s opponents have not made it out of the second round, while Williams has experience, boxing the likes of Demetrius Andrade, Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith (twice). 

“I believe in Hamzah,” Warren continued. “Hamzah is the young guy coming through. We’ve put a lot of work into him, promoting him and bringing him through, and we believe in him and I think he’s one of the best adverts for boxing. He’s a very polite guy, he’s an exemplary sportsman and he just does everything correctly. He trains well, he’s got a lovely presence and I think he’s a great advert for boxing and for modern Britain and I’m delighted we’re promoting him.” 

On the same bill, 12-0 lightweight puncher Sam Noakes takes on Lewis Sylvester and light-heavyweight star Anthony Yarde could return.

For many, however, it is about whether 6ft 3in middleweight Sheeraz can use the Williams contest as a launchpad.

“He’s got a tough fight,” admitted Warren. “But, if he comes through it, it’s onwards and upwards and hopefully he’ll be involved in some big fights and he’ll certainly fight for the world title before the end of next year.” 

When asked if his other young stars wanted to box in Saudi Arabia given the funds on offer, Warren said: “We will see what happens. The objective is for all these guys, they want world title fights.”

Sheeraz and Noakes are not the only young prospects on his books. Moses Itauma, the 7-0 heavyweight is starting to move the needle. He has already boxed in Saudi once, and he impressed over there, scoring a first-round stoppage. 

“He’s a guy to keep your eye on, is Moses,” said Warren.