Chris Billam-Smith: ‘Beating Isaac Chamberlain was career highlight, but next fight is even bigger’ | boxing news

Chris Billam-Smith triumphed over Isaac Chamberlain in a brutal 12-round battle to defend his European and Commonwealth heavyweight titles in his hometown of Bournemouth on Saturday.

It was a performance and an opportunity that should put him in the hunt for the world title and prepare him to challenge for a major belt in his next fight.

“100%, especially with the opportunities we have here,” BOXXER promoter Ben Shalom said.

Dean Lonergan, the promoter of Jai Opetaia, the new IBF champion and current world cruiserweight leader, was at ringside at the Bournemouth International Center to view the fight, with a view to matching the winner with his fighter.

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Chamberlain thinks ring rust didn’t help him against Billam-Smith in their epic 12-round battle

“He [Opetaia] is the world number one, it’s mental the opportunities that are now available to us. I’m so excited for them,” Billam-Smith said.

β€œThe next fight is always the biggest in this sport,” he said. sky sports. “Every fight is a must and that’s how I approach it. Every next fight is the biggest.

“Tonight was the pinnacle of my career so far, but there will be even better nights to come.”

It was a thrilling fight that took place in front of a raucous crowd. “It exceeded my expectations. It blew the roof off. It was so loud in there. Honestly, it makes me emotional to think about it,” Billam-Smith said.

“It was so much more than I expected.”

Chamberlain may have lost a unanimous decision on points, but he acquitted himself well as Billam-Smith put him under immense pressure.

“I’m that kind of fighter. I fight with intensity and I can keep going. Everyone who trains me knows how hard I train. People hate training me. They know they have to participate,” Billam-Smith said.

“It was tough in there, obviously. I had a short camp. I had just had a baby three weeks before going to camp, so it was a very short camp. It was five weeks of actual training, six weeks in total, so it was a physical, physical fight.

“But I know I have the engine and I have the mindset to get through it and obviously a great team around me.”

While victory will propel him to world level, there will also be options for the loser.

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Billam-Smith thinks he broke Chamberlain’s heart in their epic 12-round battle at Bournemouth

“We have Jack Massey, Mikael Lawal, Deion Jumah – Lawal will fight Jumah for the British Chris Billam-Smith: ‘Beating Isaac Chamberlain was pinnacle of career, but next fight’s even bigger’ | Boxing News then,” Shalom explained.

“There are a lot of fights to be had.”

Riakporhe against Makabu targeted

Richard Riakporhe celebrates his win over Fabio Turchi (Image: Lawrence Lustig)
Richard Riakporhe is within reach of a world title shot

The cruiserweight division opens. Richard Riakporhe is another British fighter who is closing in on a world title. But he won’t block Billam-Smith’s road to a fight with Opetaia. Promoter Ben Shalom lines up a shot against WBC champion Ilunga Makabu for Riakporhe.

“We want Makabu to fight for Richard Riakporhe and I think we can do that this year,” Shalom revealed.

“So that’s what we’re focusing on for Richard. We think this is the right fight for Richard. His development has been amazing.

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A look back at Riakporhe’s ruthless victory over Fabio Turchi

“He got into boxing late and his development must have come late but he’s getting better with every fight and his power is unbelievable. We think he has what it takes to be a world champion, so he will fight Makabu.

“I think Richard’s dream would be to win a world title and then consider a unification with Lawrence Okolie. That’s what he wants. At the end of the day, he has heavy ambitions. He’s a monster .

“I think you have Richard and Lawrence being considered the top two on the national stage and probably Billam-Smith and Chamberlain being the two biggest names outside of those two.

“We are going to have great opportunities for both of them.”

The biggest fight 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 London Showdown tickets here.

Sky Sports

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