Chris Billam-Smith defeated Lawrence Okolie by majority decision (112-112, 116-107, 115-108) earning the title of WBO Cruiserweight World Champion. The match took place at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth in front of 15,000 local fans and was broadcasted live on Sky Sports.
The completely sold-out Vitality Stadium was overwhelmingly supportive of Chris Billam-Smith, creating a unique and thrilling atmosphere that lasted throughout the 36-minute match. Featuring three knockdowns, the crowning of a new world champion, and a thrilling ambiance, this unforgettable evening of boxing was nothing short of sensational.
Despite the visibly hostile crowd in Bournemouth, Okolie entered the ring with confidence, landing a heavy right-handed punch in the initial round that slightly staggered Billam-Smith and forced him to adopt a more defensive approach.
The match proceeded similarly with Okolie delivering powerful rights and clinching as needed, until Billam-Smith successfully executed a counter-left hook in the 4th round, knocking Okolie down. Billam-Smith aggressively pursued a stoppage for the rest of the round, but was unable to secure it.
After point deductions in the 5th and 7th rounds, and another knockdown by Billam-Smith in the 10th, Okolie entered the final two rounds looking for a stoppage.
In a last-ditch effort to find the stoppage, Okolie exposed himself to yet another knockdown in the 11th round. Billam-Smith maintained his ground for the remaining three minutes of the final round to secure his victory.
Following the fight, Billam-Smith spoke to Sky Sports saying, “I can’t believe what’s just occurred. My entire life has led to this moment. It’s just impeccable. Winning in front of my fans and against a formidable champion like Lawrence Okolie, it just doesn’t get any better.”
Okolie said to Sky Sports, “I accept the verdict. He performed remarkably well in the ring. His knockdown shifted the momentum of the fight, and he did enough to secure the win. I can adjust to a loss and I will definitely return.”
Broadcasted Match Results:
Sam Eggington def. Joe Pigford – TKO, R5 (3:00)
Karriss Artingstall def. Jade Taylor – PTS (79-73)
Lee Cutler def. Stanley Stannard – PTS (97-95)
Michael McKinson def. Lebin Morales – TKO, R7 (1:25)