Liam Davies Targets Naoya Inoue After ‘Biggest Fight Of My Life’ Against Erik Robles Ayala

March 14, 2024
1 month
Liam Davies

Liam Davies said he is ready for the “biggest fight of my life” when he takes on Erik Robles Ayala for the vacant IBO super-bantamweight title – and he hopes a victory will set up a shot at undisputed champion Naoya Inoue.

Davies (15-0-0 7 KO) and Ayala (15-1-0 9 KO) will headline the show at Resorts World Arena in Birmingham, England on Saturday night, with the IBO belt – a minor world title – going to the winner.

The 27-year-old Englishman made a second successful defense of his European title in November last year when he stopped Italian Vincenzo La Femina in the fifth round, and he aims to take another step closer to challenging for major world titles against Ayala.

“He’s a very good boxer,” Davies told the BBC. “He’s 23, he’s full of ambition himself, just like me, so I expect a tough night. He’s been sparring the pound-for-pound champion Inoue so he’s going to be full of confidence.”

Davies – From Garbage Man To Title Contender

Ayala has fought once before in the UK, just last year when he outpointed the previously unbeaten Lee McGregor in Edinburgh, Scotland, so Davies is expecting a tough challenge against the Mexican.

“The last time he came to these shores he picked up a good win but it’s up to me to make sure that this time’s different and I’m going to,” Davies said. “I’ve been training hard, I’ve put myself through it and I can’t see how anyone would want it more than myself.”

Davies’ rise to world title contention is remarkable, considering that just two years ago he had to put his boxing career on hold during the pandemic and worked as a garbage collector to pay the bills.

“Me and my wife had bills to pay – there was nothing coming in,” he said in an interview with the Daily Mail last July. ‘I ended up working 12-hour shifts at the depot in Donnington.

“As lockdown lifted up, I started going on the bins because I wasn’t very active and I thought it would keep me busy – running around, a bit of cardio. I actually enjoyed it. People laugh and say it’s not a great job but they were good to me and I met some good people who I’m still friends with now.”

Davies Wants To Inspire Home Town

Undoubtedly a man of the people, Davies hopes a victory on Saturday night can inspire people from his town of Telford.

“It’s not just a win for me but the family, the gym, the community and I’m super excited because this one seems bigger than just a win for myself,” he said. “Telford has been great to me, the people always come to support me, I’ve always been respected like that. People pay their hard-earned money to come and watch me so Telford lies in a deep place in my heart. I hope it shows to all the young boxers that come through or from this area that anything’s possible in life.”

A win for either fighter will surely propel them into contention to face Inoue, who holds all four major belts – WBA, WBC, WBO and IBF – in the super-bantamweight division. While that is the ultimate aim for Davies, he said he could also move up to featherweight.

“I’ve always took each fight as it comes and I’m going to carry on doing that and if the big one (Inoue) comes after that, it’d be great,” he added. “Other than that I don’t see any other option than moving up and chasing titles there. “I’m looking forward to the biggest fight of my life.”