A cracking cruiserweight clash heads a BOXXER promoted card at the Bournemouth International Centre on Saturday night, as Chris Billam-Smith defends his European and Commonwealth titles against Isaac Chamberlain.
Sky Sports televise Billam-Smith vs Chamberlain, live in the UK.
Billam-Smith (15-1, KO11) makes his BOXXER debut, after ending a long association with Matchroom boxing, and will come into this one in good recent form.
The Bournemouth man, who headlines in his hometown for the first time since December 2018, took the Commonwealth crown in November 2019 with a fifth round stoppage of Craig Glover, and that was after suffering his sole career defeat, a close split decision reverse to Richard Riakporhe in which a knockdown proved crucial.
Since then, ‘The Gentleman’ has won six on the spin, and added British and European straps in July 2021, taking a split decision verdict against Tommy McCarthy, although he has since vacated the Lonsdale belt.
His last fight was a rematch with the Irishman, and this time the 31-year-old knocked out McCarthy in eight rounds.
Chamberlain (14-1, 8 KOs) has won five in a row since a quick to be forgotten points loss to Lawrence Okolie back in 2018, where he was down twice.
The Londoner has since resurfaced under the Mick Hennessy banner, and has stopped each of his last four opponents, the last a one round knockout of former world title challenger, Dilan Prasovic in December.
Prediction: This could well turn into a technical fight, with both men adept in that department. Chamberlain has looked good of late, but Billam-Smith has also got recent momentum on his side. In what could be a give and take affair, I lean towards the champion to retain via tight decision.
Whittaker makes pro debut
There’s a professional debut on the bill for Olympic Silver medallist Ben Whittaker, and the 25-year-old from West Bromwich meets Greg O’Neill over a scheduled six rounds at light heavyweight.
Whittaker will look to make a statement in his maiden paid contest, and O’Neill (6-6-1, 1 KO) should be a decent opponent in which to do so, having been stopped four times in six defeats.
He has been in with good opposition, taking Anthony Ogogo the full six rounds in 2014, but he was stopped in a round by Felix Cash in 2017.
Prediction: Whittaker should win early.
Caroline Dubois (2-0, 1 KO) is also in action, and she should get a stoppage win in her lightweight six rounder against Tanzania’s Happy Daudi. Daudi (11-10-1, 6 KOs) has not heard the final bell in six of her ten defeats.
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Joe Pigford (19-0, 18 KOs) is in search of more meaningful fights, but he has to settle for a scheduled ten rounder with Ghana’s Raphael King (15-1-1, KO13) at super welterweight.
Prediction: With both men regarded as bangers, this shouldn’t last the distance, and Pigford should get the win early.
2020 Olympic Team GB captain, and Bronze medalist, Frazer Clarke (1-0, 1 KO) gets a hastily arranged second paid contest, and he could well need the six round distance at heavyweight against Ariel Esteban Bracamonte (11-8, 6 KOs), who has taken Demsey McKean and Jarrell Miller to points in his last two outings.
At cruiserweight, Mikael Lawal (15-0, 9 KOs) should halt Crispulo Javier Andino (22-12-1, 12 KOs) inside their scheduled eight rounds, and at welterweight, Stephen McKenna (11-0, 10 KOs) can also extend his knockout record against Facundo Alberto Rojas (6-5-1).
Also at welterweight, Hassan Azim (3-0, KO2) should stop Jacob Quinn (4-1) early on in their six rounder.
At super welterweight, Lee Cutler (10-1, 7 KOs) can get the job done before the end of his six rounds against Meshack Mwankemwa (23-11-2, 14 KOs).