Perhaps unfairly tagged ‘the angriest man in boxing’, Liam ‘The Machine’ Williams (22-2-1, 17KOs) has blasted his way to the top of the WBO rankings and is targeting a clash with world champion Demetrius Andrade as soon as possible.
With six straight stoppage victories under his belt, the 27-year-old Welshman stands on the brink of global stardom as he enters his boxing prime, so #MTKInsideAccess caught up with him for the lowdown on what brought him to this point:
#MTKInsideAccess: Tell us a bit about where you’re from and what growing up was like for you…
Williams: “I was born in a place called Church Village in Wales. The hospital I was born in is no longer there and I then grew up in Clydach Vale.
“I even live on the street I grew up on, even though I’ve moved out of my parents’ house now. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m proud of where I grew up and even though I could buy a new house somewhere else, I don’t really want to do that. I’m happy where I am.
“Roots are very important to me. There are lots of young children who’ve come from the same area as me and it’s important to try and be a good role model. I want to show them what boxing can do if you stay on the right path and stay dedicated. It’s good to be someone they look up to.”
You’re billed as an angry man. Were you a tearaway as a kid too?
“When I was a young kid, I was a little tearaway. I was a nice enough kid but I was always in bother and causing trouble around the place!
“I started boxing to give me something to do and I’ve never looked back since. I was never encouraged to box. I went to the gym for the first time off my own back. I’m from a tough family. I was brought up to be ready for anything and I used to fight kids older than me. I’d generally come out on top too.”
What did boxing mean to you back then?
“I started boxing when I was just nine years old. I went with my mates for a bit of fun. It was something to do. Over the space of a few weeks, my mates all dropped off as they didn’t like getting punched in the face. I happened to be quite good at it and really enjoyed it so I never stopped. It was as simple as that, really.”
When did you start to realise you could make a career out of it?
“I got thrown out of school when I was 15. Obviously I was being a little pr*ck! I had no respect for the teachers. I hated school – it just wasn’t for me. I went to work for my old man as a roofer and I did that until I was 19 or 20. Then I packed in and went full-time in boxing with the help of my parents and some sponsors. They kept my head above water.
“I’m grateful to my parents. If they hadn’t kept on at me about going to the gym, I’d have fallen in with the wrong crowd. Then when my daughter was born, that gave me another boost of motivation. I don’t do anything stupid in life any more. I try and keep myself level and be a role model for her growing up.”
Any regrets at all?
“I don’t really have any regrets because everything I’ve done in life has led me to where I am now, which is in a good place. If I could go back, I’d have been better in school. I’d have listened and got some qualifications. Maybe it doesn’t matter though because you don’t need qualifications to punch someone in the face do you?”
Thanks very much for your time, Liam, and all the best in the pursuit of that world title.
Want to join Liam Williams in the world of boxing as a fighter, coach, referee, cutsperson, promoter, event coordinator, journalist and everything in between? Sign up for the #MTKAcademy now: academyse.co.uk/boxing