An electrified Bournemouth crowd cheered their hometown hero Chris Billam-Smith to victory in a brutal twelve-round war with Isaac Chamberlain for European and Commonwealth Cruiserweight Championships.
All three judges scored the contest 117-111 in favour of Chris Billam-Smith, giving him the unanimous decision victory in one of the most intense contests fought on British soil in recent years.
Both men threw hell for leather from the first bell to the last, with the second round especially action packed, both men inflicting visible damage on the other across the three minutes. Alternating between long-range bombs and close-range firefights, neither man willingly took a backwards step from start to finish.
The fight looked likely to end at any given moment, with advantage passing back and forth and one fighter dominating only to see the other come surging back. Isaac Chamberlain also managed to consistently find openings in Billam-Smith’s defense and looked the more energetic fighter of the pair in the Championship rounds.
Chris Billam-Smith has now more than earned his place at the top of the domestic Cruiserweight division and put himself into world title contention. He looks set for even greater glory in the years to come, and he can now confidently claim to have the whole of Bournemouth behind him.
Joe Pigford bt Raphael King TKO Rd 3 – 1:49
Knockout artist Joe Pigford claimed another ferocious stoppage victory after overwhelming a skilled and powerful opponent in Raphael King.
Pigford landed a crunching bodyshot that forced his opponent to seize up, and then bullied him into the corner of the ring, and continued to batter his body while also mixing in some shots to the head, forcing the referee to end the fight and giving Pigford the 19th stoppage victory of his flawless 20 fight career.
This fight was an eliminator for the Commonwealth Championship and should stand Pigford in good stead to get the big fights he’s been craving for years.
Ben Whittaker bt Greg O’Neill KO Rd 2 – 0:21
‘The Surgeon’ Ben Whittaker delivered a stunning performance in one of the most highly anticipated professional debuts in British boxing history.
The Olympic Silver Medalist landed a perfect right hook to the temple in the second round that left O’Neill out cold on the ring floor. The first round was fiery as both men had moments of frustration in the clinch, while Whittaker sprinkled in some showboating as well.
Whittaker looked set for superstardom as a professional before this fight, and this scintillating knockout has only made this seem even more certain.
Frazer Clarke bt Ariel Esteban Bracamonte KO Rd 2 – 2:57
A brutal left hook sent Bracamonte tumbling to the canvas and granted Frazer Clarke victory, maintaining his 100% finish rate, right at the death of the second round of their fight.
Clarke was landing forceful punches throughout the two rounds of the fight, but Bracamonte took them well, and did fire back with jabs and straight rights towards Clarke at times.
Clarke showed impressive intelligence to set up the fight-ending left hook by throwing them to the body throughout the fight, then suddenly switching to the head, and landing perfectly as a result. Clarke came into this fight after some time out of the ring for surgery to his right hand, and will be keen to keep active from now.
Hassan Azim bt Jacob Quinn PTS – 59-55
The Hitman Adam Azim won every round but one on the referee’s scorecard in an impressive victory that took him to 4-0 in his young professional career. Azim came out at a blistering pace and scored a knockdown 14 seconds into the first round before throwing everything he had at Quinn, who somehow survived the first round’s onslaught.
The fight slowed into a more methodical pace from then on, with Azim handling Quinn’s evasive style effectively and peppering his body from short and long range across the five remaining rounds. Hassan Azim remains one of the most exciting prospects in British boxing and will have learned a huge amount from these six rounds.
Caroline Dubois bt Happy Daudi TKO Rd 3 – 0:46
Young Olympian Caroline Dubois took her record to 3-0 with a savage performance over an experienced opponent in Happy Daudi. Dubois was landing with barrages of shots from both hands across the three rounds of the fight, with Daudi showing great heart not to be stopped, despite being knocked down in the second round.
Dubois finally overwhelmed Daudi’s defenses in the third round and forced the referee to step in and end the fight. Caroline Dubois looks set to become one of the biggest stars in women’s boxing at only 21 years old.
Lee Cutler bt Meshack Mwankemwa PTS 6/6 – 58-56
Lee Cutler took a solid decision victory on the referee’s scorecard in an exciting fight in front of a vocal hometown crowd. Cutler boxed smartly in the first round, picking his opportunities to throw powerful hooks and do damage to his opponent well, and range-finding with his jab smartly.
The Bournemouth native picked up the pace in the second round, consistently landing powerful shots to the head and body. Cutler continued to find success in the third and fourth rounds, despite Mwankemwa showing tremendous heart and tenacity to keep coming forward and battle with Cutler.
The final two rounds of fight continued in a similar fashion, with both men landing shots, and Mwankemwa advancing, but Cutler consistently doing more damage, and being more successful on his way to victory.
Mikael Lawal bt Crispulo Javier Andino KO Rd 2 – 1:25
Mikael Lawal walked away with another stoppage victory on his undefeated record tonight after a deadly left hook to the body caused Javier Andino to slowly crumple to his knees and not stand up again until after the referee’s 10-count.
This came after a measured round and a half of jabbing and range finding from Lawal where he showed strong boxing intelligence. Lawal is now keen to take on Deion Jumah in a fight that’s been ordered to be for the British title.
Stevie McKenna bt Facundo Alberto Rojas KO Rd 2 – 2:59
Exciting welterweight Stevie ‘Hitman’ McKenna made a huge statement with a devastating 2nd round stoppage of a tough opponent that had never been stopped in his career before this fight. McKenna scored a knockdown in the 1st round after a thudding left hook to the body, and wore Rojas down across the second round, forcing the referee to wave the fight off after the Argentinian was able to return to his feet from another knockdown late in the round.