Billam-Smith Beats Chamberlain On Points

Billam-Smith Beats Chamberlain On Points

By Oliver McManus

Big time boxing returned to Bournemouth, courtesy of Boxxer, and, boy, did it return.

Chris Billam-Smith – Bournemouth defined – outpointed Isaac Chamberlain in one of the most captivating domestic match-ups in recent memory.

Billam-Smith was defending his Commonwealth and European titles and the pace of the fight, from the off, was frenetic – and that’s putting it mildly.

Chris was on the front foot making the most of his long levers – keeping Chamberlain pinned to the ropes periodically throughout the opening rounds. But Isaac was working the inside and replied in equal measure.

Many observers, pre-fight, had tipped Billam-Smith to simply be too hot to handle and Chamberlain deserves for forcing the Bournemouth man to dig deep in every round.

It was all-action every step of the way: it reminded me an awful lot of Richard Riakporhe vs Jack Massey (December 2019) in terms of just how breathless and compelling a contest it was. Any combination of Riakporhe, Massey, Billam Smith and Chamberlain would make for fantastic viewing.

Chamberlain had his best rounds in the fifth and the seventh, for my money, where he was able to slow the pace and impose his own physicality but Billam-Smith kept smacking back with interest.

The eighth round saw Chamberlain dabbing at his eye and Billam-Smith finishing the round with a really crisp flurry of punches in his own corner.

Each round was intense viewing – I stopped making notes at one point – but you always got the impression that Billam-Smith was doing that little bit extra in the final minute. It felt quite harsh on the efforts of Chamberlain to keep putting a ‘10’ in Billam-Smith’s column but he was the one consistently in more control.

All three judges scored it 117-111 for Chris Billam Smith – a very well deserved victory – but, make no mistake, he had to work for it.

The undercard saw Ben Whittaker, Olympic silver medallist, make his professional debut against Greg O’Neill.

The first round was tempestuous with both men swinging after the breaking and receiving words from the referee.

Whittaker was enjoying himself, though, and bringing the crowd along with him. At times it felt like a circus, but not in the Jake Paul sort of way, and Whittaker is clearly a fantastic showman.

He’s flamboyant and a lot of fun.

One punch in the second round and it was all over -an overhand right crumpled O’Neill to the canvas who laid on the canvas and was counted out. A hugely entertaining debut for the Olympian.

Frazer Clarke faced a sluggish Ariel Esteban Bracamonte who was defensive from the off. The plodding Argentine had a high guard and any shots he threw were distinctly lackluster and sluggish. Clarke targeted the body to good effect. Bracamonte appeared to milk what was, admittedly, a shot to the back of the head but just seconds later Clarke pounced.

The Olympic bronze medallist cracked Bracamonte like a coconut with a lovely short left hook that dropped the Argentine to the canvas.

Bracamonte rose at eight, in a typically sluggish manner, and John Latham waved the contest off. A second round stoppage for Frazer Clarke who goes 2-0.

Lee Cutler sparked the crowd into life in the third fight of the night and started exceptionally fast. He rocked and shocked Mwankemwa who was taking a battering to the body.

Through two rounds Mwankemwa looked on course to take a pasting. The Poole puncher was perhaps guilty of taking a shot to land two, three of his own but he was landing regularly and with power, too.

Mwankemwa came back into the contest after the third and provided a good account of himself. He was gutsy despite getting stung with heavy shots routinely in each round. Really lively bout – both gave as good as they got but Cutler’s fast start saw him through 58-56.

And it was a pretty routine victory for Caroline Dubois who had Happy Daudi on the ropes in the first and then got a stoppage after a series of unanswered shots in the third round. Looked comfortable and classy throughout.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/Boxxer

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