BRITISH MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION Liam Williams is tipping former foe Mark Heffron to ‘chin’ Denzel Bentley when the pair’s eagerly awaited collision comes around on Saturday night, live on BT Sport.
Despite his heated history with hardman Heffron, Williams reserved his most stinging comments for Denzel ‘2Sharp’ Bentley who he referred to as “reckless and sloppy”.
The much-anticipated tear-up between Heffron and Bentley is an eliminator for the British title held by Williams, who is no stranger to the two potential challengers.
‘The Machine’ has in-ring experience battling Heffron and shared social media barbs with Bentley in the past.
In the ring, Williams became a two-weight British champion at the expense of the then unbeaten Oldham man Heffron, who now clocks in with a record of 25-1.
Heffron came up against Williams on December 2018 after his mandated match for the Lonsdale belt – Jason Welborn – withdrew from the contest following the purse bid process. It caused more than a few ripples of anticipation when Williams was tempted to step up from super welterweight and take on the challenge against a known heavy puncher.
The fight was the catalyst of a run of form from the Welshman that saw him soar to mandatory position for the WBO world title held by Demetrius Andrade in the space of four fights – all spectacular stoppages.
Nobody could really have known, least of all Heffron, that we were to witness the birth of a middleweight force of nature.
That being said, Williams holds his former opponent in a high regard and strongly suspects he will have the beating of the hitherto unbeaten Bentley, who is also a known knockout merchant, with 11 from his 13 wins.
Williams believes there are weaknesses Heffron will exploit.
“I think it will be a good fight – a very good fight,” considered the 28-year-old, who works out of the Ingle Gym in Sheffield.
“I think Heffron will probably end up chinning him. Bentley is very reckless and a bit sloppy, I think so, from what I have seen.
“He is a little bit sloppy and, as everyone knows, Heffron is a very big puncher. I was actually sparring with Mark the other day and it was a good old dust-up. You would never expect anything less of Mark because he is a top fighter who comes to give it.”
Williams acknowledges that Heffron was unfortunate to come up against a man possessed when he introduced himself to the middleweight division.
“This is it, if it wasn’t for me being on my A-game or if he was against anybody else he would have become British champion. He just came up against the wrong person that night because I was hungry and firing on all cylinders.
“He came up a bit short, but I think he will become British champion another time. I actually think as soon as he challenges again he will become champion.”
So has Williams noted a narrowing of the gap between himself and Heffron from their recent spar-wars?
“With me and Mark, with the build-up we had and stuff, at the time I genuinely didn’t like the boy and I wanted to hurt him. But, in all fairness to him, I do think he is a sound lad and we get on good now because it is just a sport and we had to put that behind us.
“He is fighting to provide and so am I. We just happened to come up against each other and it was me that came out on top.”
Mark Heffron and Denzel Bentley will fight live on BT Sport this Saturday on a card that also features the return of Anthony Yarde to light heavyweight action against Dec Spelman.
The vacant IBF European title will also be on the line at welterweight when Cedrick Peynaud meets English champion Ekow Essuman. Ellsewhere, lightweight Bilal Ali, featherweight Amin Jahanzeb and debut making super-welterweight Josh Frankham round out the card.