Hamzah Sheeraz stopped Liam Williams in one round | Photo by James Chance/Getty Images

Hamzah Sheeraz wasted no time in taking care of business in London.

Hamzah Sheeraz stopped Liam Williams in the first round today in London, making an emphatic statement in what was meant to be a step-up fight against a longtime contender.

Sheeraz (19-0, 15 KO) dropped Williams twice in the opening round, and the corner came in with Williams (25-5-1, 20 KO) unsteady and about to take more punishment in his own corner.

The 24-year-old Sheeraz got the stoppage at 2:36 of round one.

Williams, 31, looked like perhaps his chin is just not there anymore, and he’s definitely past his very best days, but he is the most notable name on the young Sheeraz’s record, and it’s a test passed with flying colors.

Sheeraz may indeed be ready to have a real breakout year, but even in a soft division, there are still steps up the ladder to take, and hopefully that’s what we see in 2024.

In the chief support, light heavyweight contender Anthony Yarde won a stay-busy matchup over a badly over-matched but very brave Marko Nikolic, who was dropped three times and kept getting up, before referee Lee Every made the right decision to stop the fight.

Yarde (25-3, 24 KO) didn’t really prove anything here in terms of the quality of his opposition, and he tends to take either extremely easy or extremely difficult fights in his career, but he did show some different looks, with credit there likely going to James Cook, who has been added to his team.

The 32-year-old Yarde has never won a world title, but is still a top contender at 175, hasn’t taken a lot of punishment in his career, and should still have good years left.

Also on the undercard, Sam Noakes won the vacant British lightweight title and retained the Commonwealth belt with a fourth round TKO win over Lewis Sylvester. Sylvester (13-1, 4 KO) was game, but just totally out-gunned by Noakes (13-0, 13 KO), who is a terror at least at the domestic level, very fun to watch and truly bruising with his power shots.

The main damage here came to the body, with Sylvester dropped twice in the third round and bravely getting through, before another knockdown in the fourth saw trainer Stefy Bull throw the towel, and wisely so. The 26-year-old Noakes is someone to keep an eye on at 135 lbs, even if just for pure entertainment value.

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  • Billy Adams PTS-4 Engel Gomez (40-36)
  • Umar Khan TKO-3 Maicol Velazco (1:24)
  • Masood Abdullah TKO-5 Qais Ashfaq (2:02)

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