Liam Williams doesn’t deny the things Demetrius Andrade does well in the ring.
The mandatory challenger for Andrade’s WBO middleweight title still can’t help but feel Andrade overrates himself. Wales’ Williams believes he is undoubtedly the best opponent of Andrade’s career.
Williams also noted that the potential opponents that the undefeated Andrade often discusses – namely Canelo Alvarez, Jermall Charlo, Gennadiy Golovkin and Billy Joe Saunders – are far superior to the fighters Andrade has beaten during his 12-year, 29-fight pro career.
“He is obviously very good,” Williams told BoxingScene.com. “He brings the experience to the table and stuff, but I do think he probably is overrated in his own imagination. He overrates himself, I feel. He thinks he’s a massive superstar, when realistically, he hasn’t fought any massive names. I’ll leave that up to other people to decide. That’s just my thoughts.”
Williams (23-2-1, 18 KOs) will square off against Andrade in the 12-round main event of DAZN’s stream Saturday from Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida (3 p.m. ET).
The 33-year-old Andrade (29-0, 18 KOs) won the then-vacant WBO 160-pound championship by out-pointing Namibia’s Walter Kautondokwa (18-2, 17 KOs) in October 2018 at TD Garden in Boston. Andrade was supposed to challenge Billy Joe Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) for that title, but England’s Saunders was removed from their fight after the southpaw failed a performance-enhancing drug test and the WBO stripped him.
Andrade, a southpaw from Providence, Rhode Island, has successfully defended his title three times. He stopped Russia’s Artur Akavov (20-4, 9 KOs) in the 12th round, easily out-pointed Poland’s Maciej Sulecki (29-2, 11 KOs) and beat Ireland’s Luke Keeler (17-3-1, 5 KOs) by ninth-round technical knockout.
The 28-year-old Williams has lost only to former WBO junior middleweight champ Liam Smith (29-2-1, 16 KOs). Williams has won seven straight fights since Smith beat him by majority decision in their 12-round rematch in November 2017 in Newcastle, England.
Williams is the WBO’s number two contender for Andrade’s title. Mexico’s Jaime Munguia (36-0, 29 KOs), who is ranked number one by the WBO, turned down a shot at Andrade’s championship, thus Williams will satisfy Andrade’s mandatory obligation with the WBO.
“I obviously think he’s very good at what he does,” Williams said of Andrade. “He’s a slick southpaw, rangy. He’s got all the things that make an opponent awkward and tricky. So, you know, I just think the intensity I’m gonna bring to the table, he’s not gonna have the answers for. And he’s gonna run out of steam. He’s just not gonna be able to keep me away from him.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.