Chris Billam-Smith wins thunderous battle with Isaac Chamberlain to defend Europe and Commonwealth title | Boxing News

Chris Billam-Smith defended the European and Commonwealth cruiser title in a thunderous battle with Isaac Chamberlain in his hometown of Bournemouth on Saturday.

The screams that came from the crowd as Billam-Smith entered the Bournemouth International Center were simply jarring. The champion advanced into the ring with serious intentions even as fireworks and the arena exploded around him.

He started with sturdy drills, drilling them through Chamberlain’s guard. Those shots damaged the Londoners and Billam-Smith assisted them with his cross. He bullies Chamberlain on the ropes and rushes over.

Chamberlain had to open with left hooks trying to find a reaction, firing back under pressure. But Billam-Smith ended that first round with an unexpected smile on his face.

Billam-Smith (right) drives up close. (Photo: Lawrence Lustig / BOXXER)

Billam-Smith picked up that momentum into the second round. Even when Chamberlain landed with a great left hook to himself, Billam-Smith caught a left hook to his head. Chamberlain breaks free from the ropes and captures Billam-Smith with a surprise attack, forcing him to retreat. But before the end of the round, the champion plodded forward again, hitting Chamberlain back on the rope.

They still fought with speed in the third round but Billam-Smith broke through with a hard left hook and a flurry of punches, all of which took away Chamberlain’s energy.

He kept Chamberlain on foot, until, in the fifth round, Chamberlain managed to hold his ground. The Londoners managed to sidestep their rights and Billam-Smith finished the round looking weary.

As Billam-Smith moved forward in the seventh inning, Chamberlain removed his left hook. Encouraged, he attacked with more headers. His right top lane penetrated Billam-Smith’s defence, startling him. Chamberlain’s left eye was swollen. He absorbed the punitive shots but he was heart-pounding, reeling from the stabs even as his left eye began to close.

In season eight, Chamberlain bounced a brilliant right cross and they ended the half badly against each other.

The fight is a tense battle. Throughout Billam-Smith searches for his muscles to move forward but Chamberlain’s confidence grows as he withstands powerful punches and gives himself space to work. He is increasingly able to twist Billam-Smith onto a rope or lock him in a corner.

But Billam-Smith continued to drill shots into his trunk and he unleashed full-body punches in the 10th round to get the crowd on their feet cheering for him once more.

Chamberlain stood his ground and began to shoot bullets straight through

Both men were tired going into the final two innings. Billam-Smith wearily continued to trudge inside. However, he is still able to deliver thunderous punches, slam into the ribs and then deliver a triple punch to the head. He was also the first to clear the chair in the final round and raised his hand again in front of his crowd.

Both worked desperately hard, in search of an epic ending. Billam-Smith hooked hooks to Chamberlain’s head and, breaking the rope, shot Chamberlain in the jaw causing him to turn his head momentarily.

But Chamberlain fought back, sending Billam-Smith to the ropes, kicking him with a left hook and causing the two to sway wildly in the final seconds before the final bell ended their battle.

The decision was unanimous, all three judges had Billam-Smith win 117-111.

“The corner was unbelievable,” the defending champion said afterwards. “They know exactly what to say all the time.

“What an unbelievable fight. Isaac is a warrior, I know he is.”

“I know when to take it easy and go, and give him some success, and then I take it away from him and break his heart.”

That failed attempt came in Chamberlain’s first 12-round match. “It’s not my night. Lots of rings. I’ve never done 12 sets. But I’ll be back in the gym as soon as possible,” he said.

“This is my first round of 12, so I’ll be back.”

He will be back, and he also wants a rematch. “100%,” Chamberlain said.

Nelson: A candidate of the year

Johnny Nelson says the instant cruiser class classic was a contender of the year.

“It has to be the match of the year so far, because of what these boys have shown with pure heart and determination,” Nelson said.

“Chris Billam-Smith’s game plan worked. He came from the ground up to fight his fight. So when you get into that, if you’re not smart enough and experience to break out of that mindset and framework instead of burying it, it’s very difficult to do.

“And Chris is a tough, tough cookie. I’ve seen Isaac in such battles until the very end, when he was digging. He showed a lot of heart and mentally, but inactivity didn’t work for him.

“Chris’s tactics worked perfectly for him, but what a fight. The crowd stood on their feet. Watching it was exhausting!”

The biggest match in women’s boxing history – Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall – is live on Sky Sports on Saturday, September 10. Be a part of history and buy tickets to the London match here.

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