Chris Billam-Smith has predicted a mid-late stoppage victory over Tommy McCarthy in their three-belt cruiserweight clash this Saturday night.
Commonwealth champion, Billam-Smith (12-1, 10 KOs) meets European titlist, McCarthy (18-2, 9 KOs) on the undercard of Conor Benn’s showdown with Adrian Granados at Matchroom’s Fight Camp in Brentwood.
A meeting between the pair has been mooted since the Bournemouth man stopped Nathan Thorley at Fight Camp last year and gained further anticipation after the 30-year-old sent out a Tweet on May 12, which read: ”Stop trying to avoid me. I’d punch holes in you. Don’t bottle it.”
The former Poole ABC man, who has a sole loss to common opponent Richard Riakporhe is expecting to win inside the distance, with the victor also picking up the vacant British title vacated by Riakporhe.
“We were calling out Tommy McCarthy after my fight at Fight Camp last year,” Billam-Smith said.
“I was getting interviewed after that and we were talking about it. It’s been a year in the making. Obviously with Tommy boxing on Matchroom shows and myself wanting bigger Titles and him picking up the European – it was a fight that made sense.
“I believe it’s a really fan-friendly fight and a great one for my career. I’ve been asking for it for a while and we’ve finally got it.
“I sent that one Tweet out which got a lot of traction, a lot more than I expected to be honest. I’m just glad he took the fight and it’s got him right up for the fight which is great to see.
“That’s what fans want to see. They want to see two domestic fighters going at it, and in the press conferences as well.
“It looks like I’ve riled him up a bit so he’s going to be fired up for this fight. He’s going to be training very hard. I expect a very good performance from him. The fight will definitely catch fire.
“Every fighter wants to win with a knockout and I think this is a really good opportunity for me to put all of my skillset to work. I can box, I can break him down and I believe that I will take him out in the mid to late rounds.”
Billam-Smith dropped Vasil Ducar twice on route to a hard-fought points victory in March to become WBA Continental champion.
McCarthy, who is ranked at #3 and #4 by the WBA and IBF respectively, retained his European crown after knocking out Alexandru Jur in six rounds in May, a performance his rival, who is rated #4 by the WBA is not reading too much into.
“I’ve seen Tommy and I’ve watched him for a few years now. He’s a very decent fighter. He’s got quick hands and a very good boxing IQ.
“It’s an exciting challenge for me. Winning the European Title will be a massive achievement for me and it’s one that I’m really looking forward to, but also, it’s a step that you plan to make on the journey.
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“You can’t take too much from his last fight. He did exactly what he had to do. He boxed well, he hurt him to the body, but unfortunately there wasn’t much coming back so there’s not much you can really take from that win.
“There will be a lot of other fights of his from the past that you can watch that are better wins for him because the opponents brought out more of him.”