Telford boxing star Liam Davies has achieved his dream of taking a professional belt to his late grandfather’s grave after a sterling performance on the big stage.
The 24-year-old secured the vacant English bantamweight title on Saturday night, with a punch-perfect display against Sean Cairns at Wembley’s SSE Arena.
It is the first belt of Davies’ short career and yesterday the Donnington Boxing Club fighter was able to take the strap to the grave of Brian Davies, his grandfather that used to run the club and trained him from a young age.
“I went down first thing in the morning to Wombridge cemetery,” Davies told the Shropshire Star.
“We walked the dog down there and had a good moment, I’ll never forget it.
“I started out with him and went to the Europeans with him.
“He was with me for many of my fights and was a really big part of my career and my life.
“It was really good to take a belt there. I always wanted to take a belt to him and the English is a good one.
“Hopefully now I can build on it and take more belts there, it was a good feeling.”
The undefeated fighter, who appeared on the undercard to Conor Benn and Sebastian Formella, impressed from the first bell with his unrelenting style and punch accuracy.
Despite admitting this moment, the biggest of his career, was make or break for him – Davies has walked away happy with what he showed.
“I’m really happy with how it went – it feels like a bit of a dream,” Davies added.
“It’s surreal, looking back that this has all happened.
“I feel really blessed.
“Of course I was nervous, I wanted to make sure I delivered.
“I feel like I did in the end and I’m happy it paid off.
“There was a lot riding on it. If I’d lost I wouldn’t have had that opportunity again.”
Strong right hands landed early for Davies, who followed it up with ferocious counter left hooks and stiff shots to the body.
At the end of the sixth round, with the seventh looming, Cairns’ trainers pulled him out of the fight and Davies believes it was the right call.
He said: “I figured him out well. I mixed it up, kept him guessing and landed hard shots.
“He was really tough to be honest. He took a lot of good shots and you have to give him credit for that.
“He took hard shots and it was the right decision in the end.
“I think it (the stoppage) would have come, it was just a case of when it was going to come.
“It was the right time to get him out, it wouldn’t have gone much longer.
“There wasn’t much point in going on. I believe I won every round up until then and had a lot in the tank to go. It was the correct decision in the end. The trainer knows his fighter, he’s been with him since pro, and he knows him.
“He was just a bit out of his depth in the end.”
Davies is eyeing the British title on the horizon but insists his next step will be to defend the English belt – and he hopes to return home to do so.
“I want to defend the English belt first,” he added.
“I’m not in a major rush, I’m still 24 and could do a defence, hopefully in Telford in the New Year. Maybe February. I’ll keep fit and hopefully do it in Telford and have my younger brother Bradley Thompson make his pro debut. That’s the plan.”