Liam Smith beats Liam Williams via majority decision in their WBO world title eliminator

Liam Smith (left) in action against Liam Williams
Liam Smith (left) in action against Liam Williams

Liam Smith defeated Liam Williams for a second time in just over seven months after a majority decision win in their WBO world title eliminator at Newcastle's Metro Arena.

Former WBO light-middleweight champion Smith failed to make weight in their first bout earlier this year, but came away victorious after Williams was withdrawn at the end of the ninth round when a headbutt from the Liverpudlian, that was ruled an accidental clash of heads, opened a deep cut by his right eye.

Both fighters traded authority throughout the rematch, with the fifth round sparking some controversy as Smith landed a hook to the body of the Welshman when his opponent was in-between the ropes, while Williams caught Smith after the bell in the same round - with both men going unpunished.

An accidental clash of heads from Williams in the seventh round did not cause the damage it did in the first bout as both men pushed for an opening before the 25-year-old caught Smith with a flurry in the 10th.

The 29-year-old hit back with a stinging combination in the next to set up a grandstand finish, but neither fighter could land the knockout blow as the first judge called a 114-114 draw before the other two scored 116-112 and 117-111 in favour of Smith.

Victory for the Liverpudlian could set up a title shot with Miguel Cotto in 2018, while Williams has to bounce back from the second defeat of his career.

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