Home Columns Lawrence Okolie vs Chris Billam-Smith – Results & Post-Fight Report

Lawrence Okolie vs Chris Billam-Smith – Results & Post-Fight Report

Chris Billam-Smith wins via a majority decision against Lawrence Okolie to become the new WBO cruiserweight champion

Chris Billam-Smith dropped Lawrence Okolie three times along the way to becoming the new WBA Cruiserweight Champion. Photo Credit: LAWRENCE LUSTIG/BOXXER
Chris Billam-Smith dropped Lawrence Okolie three times along the way to becoming the new WBA Cruiserweight Champion. Photo Credit: LAWRENCE LUSTIG/BOXXER

In front of a feverish crowd at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, and home hero Chris Billam-Smth became the new WBO cruiserweight champion, as he took a majority decision against Lawrence Okolie.

Okolie took the vacant WBO crown in March 2021, knocking out Krzysztof Glowacki in six, and he had defended three times, the last a lacklustre points win agains David Light in March. Billam-Smith had worked his way up the ranks, and was last out in December 2022, knocking out Arnold Xhoxhaj in five.

Okolie (19-1, KO14) shook Billam-Smith (18-1, KO12) up with a right hand in the first round, and he was largely dominant in the exchanges and the frequent holding that ensued. Out of nowhere in round four, the challenger connected with a superb sweeping left hand that dropped Okolie, who was hurt upon impact. He survived the count, but was unsteady, although Billam-Smith was unable to finish the job during the round. The champion’s cause got even worse a round later, when he was docked a point for holding, and it was the usual scrappy stuff from ’The Sauce’.

Billam-Smith landed well again in the sixth with another left hand, and Okolie was warned once more in round seventh for use of the shoulder, and he then lost another point as his title seemed to be slipping away. Sensing this, Okolie had his best round in the eighth, shaking his opponent up, and after a scrappy ninth, Okolie was counted for a second time in round ten, down from a short left hook, but he roared back, hurting Billam-Smith on the resumption. With the loss of his title a real possibility, Okolie finally went on the offensive in the penultimate frame, but it was scrappy stuff again, and he was caught once more, down for a third time as the contest was going against him. Okolie tried to go for the finish in the final round, but the contest went to the cards, where the looked only one outcome.

Scores of 116-107 and 115-108 declared ‘The Gentleman’ the new champion, while a third judge somehow tallied 112-112.

Sam Eggington (34-8, KO19) picked up the vacant WBA super welterweight title, as he stopped Joe Pigford (20-1, KO19) in the fifth round. Eggington had the better of the argument in the main, and a cluster of power punches had Pigford in deep trouble, and badly shaken, and the referee wisely stepped in.

Lee Cutler (13-1, KO7) got the better of Stanley Standard (10-1, KO4) over ten entertaining rounds at super welterweight. Cutler got the nod by a score of 97-95.

Michael McKinson (25-1, KO4) recorded a rare stoppage, as the Portsmouth welterweight won in the seventh round against Nicaragua’s Lebin Morales (19-7-1, KO9) in their contest set for eight.

Karriss Artingstall (4-0, KO0) maintained her unbeaten run, and she dominated Jade Taylor (5-1, KO0), taking a 79-72 win in an eight rounder at featherweight.

Heavyweight prospect Tommy Welch (11-0, KO6) continued his education, and took a 59-55 six round win against Amine Boucetta (7-7, KO0).

Lewis Edmondson (7-0, KO3) stayed undefeated, taking a technical decision win after five rounds, as Peter Nosic (8-2, KO4) at light heavyweight. Nosic was cut over his left eye, ruling him out of action.

Alireza Ghadiri (8-0, KO1) had to get off the deck in the second round of his contest with Jonatas Rodrigo Gomes de Oliveira (4-4, KO4) before coming through 58-55 on the referee’s card at super featherweight.