On Sunday, December 10, Chris Billam-Smith (19-1, 13 KOs) defended his WBO cruiserweight title, beating Mateusz Masternak (47-6, 31 KOs) in a bruising encounter at the Bournemouth International Centre in Bournemouth, England. The Boxxer card was shown on Sky Sports in the UK and Peacock in the U.S.
Chris Billam-Smith Defeats Mateusz Masternak
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The champion was returning to the ring for the first time since he won the WBO title, defeating Lawrence Okolie in a brawling encounter. Before winning the WBO strap, the Englishman dispatched Armend Xhoxhaj in round number five.
Billam-Smith started well in the opening round and was the aggressor, landing some eye-catching punches before the Polish fighter found his groove. Masternak was landing the right hand with regularity despite the best efforts – of the champion to outwork his opponent. Billam-Smith began to rush his work, and the Polish fighter was countering well, landing some heavy shots, but the champion showed his bravery and kept coming forward.
Round 6 was much better for the Englishman as he did some smart work up close and managed to avoid the right hand from the Polish fighter for the most part. Round seven saw Billam-Smith land a huge left-right hook combination at the end of the round, which hurt the Polish fighter – to the point he couldn’t continue for round 8, and Billam-Smith got the job done and retained his cruiserweight title in a difficult and bruising fight.
In the post-fight interview, Billam-Smith reiterated his respect for Masternak. The champion said regarding the end of the fight: “I knew I had hurt him.”
He said regarding the rest of the fight: “I made it hard for myself. I was trying too hard to land one big shot.”
Billam-Smith vs. Masternak Undercard Results
Ben Whittaker (5-0, 4 KOs) brutally stopped Stiven Leonetti Dredhaj (11-3-1, KOs) in round 4 with a right-left hook combination, which ended the contest in style.
Lauren Price (6-0, 1 KO) won against Silvia Bortot (11-4-1, 3 KOs) in their welterweight contest – via unanimous decision with the referee’s scorecard reading 80-72.
Lee Cutler (14-1, 7 KOs) won against Lurecia Belen Arrieta (8-3, 1 KOs) via unanimous decision in their junior middleweights clash, with the scorecards reading 97-93 x2 and 96-95.
Francesca Hennessy (2-0, 1 KO) defeated Lurecia Belen Arrieta (6-6, 0 KOs) in their bantamweight contest – via unanimous decision, with the scorecard reading 59-55.
Take a trip down memory lane with Big Fight Weekend to when Australia Jai Opetaia became the cruiserweight king and defeated Mairis Briedis.