Liam Davies Targets ‘Massive 2024’ After IBO World Title Win Over Erik Robles Ayala

March 17, 2024
4 weeks
Liam Davies

Liam Davies said he is looking ahead to a “massive 2024” after securing his first world title with an explosive second-round stoppage of Erik Robles Ayala on Saturday.

Davies (16-0-0 8 KO) extended his perfect professional record with a devastating display at Resorts World Arena in Birmingham, England. The Englishman landed a flush uppercut one minute into the second round to send Ayala flat on the canvas.

The Mexican rose unsteadily to his feet and was allowed to continue, but a final flurry from Davies pinned Ayala on the ropes as referee John Latham stepped in to avoid any further punishment.

The victory was not only impressive but also earned Davies the IBO super-bantamweight belt – a minor world title, but a world title nonetheless.

“It’s a blessing, man. I had my debut in Birmingham. I’ve just become world champion, my first of many world titles, in Birmingham,” Davies, 27, said. “I’ve had a great fanbase from the start. You can see out there, they’re out and loud, so I want to say thank you for all traveling down.

Davies ‘World Class’ Against Ayala

“Respect to Erik Robles, I beat a proper champion there. He’s been out sparring [Naoya] Inoue, he beat some good fighters on his way. This is the start of a massive 2024.”

The ultimate aim now for Davies is to get himself into a position to challenge undisputed champion Inoue. The Japanese pound-for-pound star holds all four major belts – the WBC, WBO, WBA, and IBF – and will make his first undisputed defense against Luis Nery in Tokyo, Japan on May 6.

For Davies, his latest success in the ring continues a remarkable boxing journey that saw him put his career on hold during the pandemic and become a garbage collector to pay the bills.

Davies’ promoter Frank Warren was full of praise for his fighter and believe bigger and better things are to come.

“What he does in the ring walks, and what he does in the ring, you look at British, Commonwealth, Europe [titles] and now this,” Warren said. “Everything he’s done, and he’s done it in style, and that was a world-class finish, a world-class performance.

“Think of the fight with Lee McGregor [who Ayala defeated last year], which everyone was raving about. He’s done a job tonight, I can’t tell you how exciting that was – that was a brilliant performance.”

Joyce Returns With Labored Stoppage Win

In the co-main event, heavyweight Joe Joyce made his return to the ring with a last-round knockout of Kash Ali.

Joyce, the former WBO interim champion, saw his career get derailed by successive knockout losses to China’s Zhilei Zhang last year, but was back in the win column on Saturday night.

“It’s great to be back! Bring on any heavyweight next!” Joyce posted on Instagram, although after an unconvincing performance, there was little to suggest he could trouble any top heavyweights on this sort of form.

Joyce looked on course for a heavyweight world title shot after a run that included impressive stoppage wins over Daniel Dubois and Joseph Parker, until his twin defeats to Zhang.