Liam Williams expects Gary Corcoran to be his toughest test of career

By Dafydd JonesBBC Sport Wales
Liam Williams
Liam Williams is targeting 'bigger and better things' after recovering from a hand injury that cost him 13 months

British and Commonwealth super welterweight champion Liam Williams is expecting his title defence against Gary Corcoran next month to be the hardest fight of his career.

The unbeaten 24-year-old will face WBO Intercontinental Champion at the Cardiff Ice Arena on Saturday, 16 July.

Wembley's Corcoran, 25, is unbeaten in 15 professional bouts and beat Danny Butler to claim the vacant WBO Intercontinental title in March.

"It's my hardest fight," Williams said.

"As a fighter I respect Corcoran, he's good but it's one I can definitely win," Williams told BBC Wales Sport.

The pair were involved in a heated head-to-head at a press conference to promote the fight - with Williams shoving his rival in the head - and Williams says the pre-fight hostility is spurring him on in training.

"He thinks a lot of himself and it definitely gives me extra motivation in the gym when I'm tired and I don't want to be there," Williams said.

"I picture myself beating him up and it gives me all the energy I need so it's definitely good motivation."

Corcoran and Williams head-to-head
The had-to-head photo opportunity between the two boxers was taken literally

Williams has fought just twice in 18 months after overcoming a career-threatening hand injury which had stalled his progress.

He added the British title to his Commonwealth belt by beating Kris Carslaw in December last year before defeating Gustavo Alberto Sanchez in April and is now eyeing bigger prizes.

"I believe the winner of this fight will move on to bigger and better things," Williams added.

"I've got to keep my foot on the gas, keep working really hard and I believe 16 July is the start of it, the take off point,"

"It's one fight at a time but I believe after this I'll have a good ranking in the world and possibly I'll get a European title or World title shot but we'll see what comes up."

Co-headlining in Cardiff is pound-for-pound superstar Guillermo Rigondeaux who defends his WBA super bantamweight crown against Merseyside's Jazza Dickens.

On the undercard, British and Commonwealth Champion Super Bradley Skeete make the fifth defence of his WBO European welterweight title and Tommy Langford defends his WBO Inter-Continental belt.

Welshmen Craig Evans, Alex Hughes, Jay Harris, Dale Evans and Rhys Saunders all look to impress in front of their home crowd and St Joseph's former British title holder Gary Buckland returns after some time away from the ring.