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Liam Williams confident against Mullender, still open to fighting at 154 pounds

Liam Williams defends his British middleweight title on Friday.

Josh Warrington v Carl Frampton - IBF World Featherweight Title Fight Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Current British middleweight champion Liam Williams will defend his title on Friday at Royal Albert Hall, facing challenger Joe Mullender on a card that will stream live in the U.S. on ESPN+.

Williams (19-2-1, 14 KO) expects a fan-friendly fight and a stoppage win, he tells The Ring, and also says he’s open to returning to 154 pounds if there are bigger opportunities in that division.

“(Mullender is) like, ‘He’s going to punch my face in, I’m gonna punch his face in.’ No, you’re not. I’m going to bust him up, simple as that. ... If the right fights are offered to me, of course I could go down and make 154. But, with respect, I’m not going to kill myself to make 154 to fight the likes of Joe Mullender.”

Williams, 26, had a couple of good battles at 154 pounds against Liam Smith in 2017, with Smith winning both contests. He then took a pair of tune-up fights essentially at light heavyweight, before settling back in for a serious outing at 160, stopping previously unbeaten Mark Heffron in December to claim the vacant British title.

As for returning to 154, Williams sounds like he’d want a world title shot to do that, and names Jaime Munguia and Jarrett Hurd, with a preference for Hurd because he holds the WBA and IBF belts, while Munguia has the WBO belt.

And with regards to his fight on Friday, Williams expected to win without a whole lot of trouble, frankly. Mullender (11-2, 5 KO) is a 32-year-old scrapper taking his crack at the big domestic belt, but he’s the clear underdog and Williams has simply proven himself against better opposition to date.

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