The career of Liam Davies continues to go from strength to strength. On March 16 the 27-year-old bantamweight retained his unbeaten record, 16-0 (8 KOs), with an impressive second round stoppage win over Erik Robles which also earned him the IBO strap. In an interview with Boxing News Davies spoke candidly about why he believes he deserves a big fight, grieving for the loss of his grandfather, the role his mum and dad have played in his life and more.

BN: How do you feel after the win against Erik Robles?

LD: I’m really happy. It went to plan and I’m buzzing. Just want to keep it going now. It’s not the end yet. A good win to get my foot in the door and hopefully now get a big fight like I feel like I deserve.

BN: Throughout your camp for the Robles fight did you anticipate the fight would end so early?

LD: Before a fight you go in like it’s going to be a hard night and maybe you’re going to be hurt once or twice but I know what I’m about, I know how much I want it. I know I’ve got it in me to pull through. Against a Mexican I didn’t go in thinking the first couple of shots I land are going to take him out. I think that would have been the wrong attitude to go in with. I always knew I’m very strong and if I hit them clean, they’re going to struggle. No matter how tough you are if I hit you on the button it’s going to take anyone out, I believe.

BN: Your last three fights have ended in the first round, the fifth and the second round. But prior to that you had three fights that had gone the distance. What’s been the secret to these last three fights?

LD: The dedication in the gym. The hard work I’ve been putting in. Dedicating my life to boxing, doing everything right. The diet, making the weight right, the hard hours in the gym, the long hours. It’s a recipe for it. It’s pretty simple really.

BN: Are you feeling on top of the world?

LD: I’m really happy but I just feel like there’s more to do. Not too happy. I haven’t got to where I want to be. I haven’t done half of what I wanna do. I’m happy and I’ve got myself in a good position. It’s about the promoters getting behind me and my manager pushing for the right thing.

BN: Have there been any discussions about you fighting on the Five vs. Five event involving Queensberry and Matchroom fighters?

LD: No discussions at all. Only me saying it. Probably ain’t gonna happen. It is what it is. That bit is outta my control so I’m not going to lose sleep over it. If it comes, I’ll be happy and I’m ready but if it doesn’t it is what it is. It’s got to be something big. Don’t be trying to chuck one of these English guys, that have got nothing, at me. Give me a big name.

BN: There’s been more speculation about you fighting Dennis McCann but is that what you want?

LD: I don’t mind, I just want the right payment. I think it’s still a good fight. The only way it makes sense to me is big money. I’d take Dennis McCann out.

BN: Did you happen to watch his fight against Brad Strand?

LD: I watched a bit in the changing room while I was warming up. Not impressed at all. Going on like he’s done something mega. He’s avoided me. If he had big balls he could have fought me for the British and European, rather than begging me to step aside and let them fight for it. I think that speaks volumes to be honest.

BN: So, basically you want a big fight next that is a big boost for your career and pays well.

LD: A world title eliminator, something like that. Something needs to make sense. I took all these fights; I’ve always took the biggest fights. I’ve come through them and now it’s time for these guys to do something for me and give me what I’m asking for. I think the Robles fight happened because no-one wanted it and my manager said we’ll fight him. I don’t think everyone was keen and I said I’d beat him and to make the fight happen.

BN: The IBO title isn’t one of the main four belts but how does it make you feel to have it?

LD: People can say what they want but it’s a world title and I’m a world champion. It’s not one of the four major ones – I get that, I agree – but no-one can take it away from me. If you didn’t have [Naoya] Inoue that could have easily been for one of the major ones. The guy was a legit champion himself. People can say what they want but I ain’t gonna listen. I ain’t satisfied and saying I’m happy and I’ll retire. I’d like one of the four major belts now. This gets my foot in the door and in a great position to be able to call these big guys out which I would have fought before. Now people are realising it’s a real possibility.

BN: Have there been any discussions as to when you will be out next?

LD: I’m going to talk to George Warren and see. I know they said about the Shabaz Masoud fight but other than it being in Saudi and [for] big money I’m not really interested. To me it’s got to be a big name. Nonito Donaire or someone like that. Something big. [Murodjon] Akhmadaliev or an eliminator. Going to Australia and fight Sam Goodman. Beggars can’t be choosers but I’m going to start saying something now and I want something big because I just fucking deserve it.

BN: Having read about it in another article I know the death of your grandfather still hurts you. Are you coping with that?

LD: It’s something that will always hurt me. I spent a lot of time with my Grandad. I miss him very much. It was nice to go to the grave and have that moment taking the belt there saying I’d done it. I’ve still got plenty more to do. Every time I go, I say, “We’ve got to carry on”. That’s what I’m gonna do. I’m at peace with it but I just miss him, it’s my grandfather, and I always will. I mention him a lot and I’ll mention him until the end. I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me I just want to show my love and if he’s up there listening, I hope he can hear me and hope he’s proud. The boxing helps me because that’s my purpose and that’s the place I can find no stress and not think about it. My mum and dad had me young. They were 17 when they had me and when I was young and growing up, I spent a lot of time with my grandfather. He was a real father figure to me. Taught me the ways of life. I still find myself saying things he told me as a young kid now, talking in his slang. It’s something that will be with me forever. The way he helped bring me up is definitely something I take into how I bring my kids up.

BN: How does your mum and dad feel about your success?

LD: My dad’s in my corner. Spend a lot of time in the gym with him. I’m lucky because we get a lot of hours together. I’m the oldest and my little sister’s 10 years old and says, “Dad’s always with Liam”. But it’s work. I’m great friends with my dad. He’s been there for me a lot; he’s kept me on track and been a great father to me. Nights like that I’m sure he thinks it’s all worth it, but he doesn’t say too much. He’s not jumping for joy. It’s a case of good job and carry on, and that’s the way my Grandad was. As much as it’s nice to have a “well done” I think it’d just be weird now. He’d be saying, “You’ve only done two rounds, make sure you’re running after” and stuff like that. My mum’s over the moon. My mum had me young and we had hard times when she met her partner after. It wasn’t great and we spent time in refuges. I remember going to the food bank with my mum a few times. Times have changed and it’s all worth it with nights like that. Having her ringside and she’s crying her eyes out after. Happy tears. Bringing good times back. My mum had a lot of hard times, bless her.

BN: Naoya Inoue v Luis Nery. How do you see it going?

LD: I expect Inoue to stop Nery in six rounds. Nery’s small and he’s there to be hit. I don’t think he’s very strong. It’ll be a nice comfortable night for Inoue. Nery don’t like body shots.