By Owen Morgan
Liam Williams’ first defence of his British Middleweight title will see boxing return to an iconic London venue.
The Church Village man will face England’s Joe Mullender on March 8 at The Royal Albert Hall, which stages only its second professional boxing show since the 1990s.
The talented Williams (19-2-1-KO14) produced a sensational stoppage of Mark Heffron at the Manchester Arena to claim the title in December and is back in action to defend his title against former English champion Mullender (11-2-KO5).
Williams said: “I think this has got all the makings of an exciting fight and you can see from his style that he always brings it and comes to have a good tear up so I am looking forward to it.
“I do believe I am a class or two above him, to be quite honest, but I also think he will give anyone a decent fight because of his style.
“He would give most fighters in the world a good fight, however long it lasts, because of the way he approaches fights.”
We're back at the iconic Royal Albert Hall 🏟🥊
Daniel Dubois 🆚️ Razvan Cojanu
Liam Williams 🆚️ Joe Mullender
Nicola Adams 🆚️ Arely Mucino
World title fight 🏆
British title fight 🏆
March 8th 📅
BT Sport 📺 pic.twitter.com/N1dBImsCP3
— Boxing on BT Sport 🥊 (@BTSportBoxing) January 16, 2019
Mullender, known as ‘Smokin Joe’, won the English title in an epic sequel against Lee Markham in June 2017.
The Brentwood fighter agrees Williams is at a level above him, but is relishing the opportunity just the same.
The 32-year-old, who recorded a brutal stoppage victory over Ben Capps in October, said: “For me it is all about the British title and I will fight anyone.
“I respect Liam as a fighter, he has done what he’s done and is levels above me on paper, but I don’t really care who I fight, to be honest.
“It is for the British title and the odds are stacked against me, but that is what I like.”
The Royal Albert Hall has previously staged some of the top fights in British boxing history – but only one professional boxing show has been staged there in almost 20 years, when Billy Joe Saunders fought Tony Hill for the vacant Commonwealth title in April 2012.
Throughout the 90s the likes of Lennox Lewis, Ricky Hatton, Marco Antonio Barrera, Chris Eubank, Frank Bruno, Michael Watson and many other greats graced the Royal Albert Hall ring.
Before then, the hall welcomed legends such as Muhammad Ali in the 1970s and Henry Cooper in the 50s and 60s. The notorious Ronnie and Reggie Kray also fought there in 1951 with older brother Charlie also on the same bill.
Some of the most memorable nights in Welsh boxing history have taken place at the famous London venue with the likes of Howard Winstone, Colin Jones and Joe Calzaghe recording famous victories there.
Sharing top billing for the Frank Warren show this March will be double Olympic Games gold medallist Nicola Adams who challenges for the WBO flyweight crown for the first time against Mexico’s Arely Mucino.
That fight will be the co-main event alongside undefeated British heavyweight Daniel Dubois, who takes on Romanian former world title challenger Razvan Cojanu.
Also on the bill will be Williams’ MTK Global team-mate Archie Sharp, who makes the first defence of his WBO European super-featherweight title against the unbeaten Lucas Ballingall.
Pre-sale tickets begins at 12noon on Thursday with general sale starting 24 hours later.