|Chris Billam-Smith takes another step towards world level this Saturday November 13 when he makes the maiden defence of his EBU European Cruiserweight Title against Frenchman Dylan Bregeon at the Utilita Arena Sheffield, live worldwide on DAZN. |
‘The Gentleman’ (13-1, 10 KOs) withstood a late fightback from Tommy McCarthy to edge out a narrow split points decision to add the British and European Cruiserweight Titles to his Commonwealth Title in an epic battle at the Matchroom HQ in July.
The Bournemouth favourite is making great progress under coach Shane McGuigan, who he has trained with since turning pro in September 2017, and believes that he will be knocking on the door for a World Title opportunity in 2022.
“Tommy McCarthy definitely surprised me,” admitted Billam-Smith. “He’s a lot more elusive than I thought he would be. He was hard to nail clean. I thought I’d be able to nail him cleaner, but I didn’t really catch him that clean throughout the fight, even in the fifth or sixth round when I had him hurt a bit he was still very elusive and tricky. He was always coming back with shots. Respect to Tommy. Everything that was said in the build-up was squashed straight after the fight.
“I’m hungrier now more than ever. I know it’s a bit of a cliché statement but I really am. I’m doing a lot more in the gym now. I’m trying to perfect the little things even more so than before. Sometimes I guess I was just getting through sessions but now I’m much more meticulous in my training. I’m putting more hours and rounds in. I’m spending more time in the gym and that might be because I’m settled up here now around the corner in Stratford. The future is exciting for me and I’m just really pushing on towards that world level.
“When you get announced as a defending champion – current British, Commonwealth and European – that will be a nice moment for me. I try and appreciate those moments as much as I can. You sort of can’t really do that in the moment. You watch it back on TV and then you can appreciate it a bit more because you’re switched on in the moment. It’s a nice feeling to hear those words.”
Billam-Smith vs. McCarthy is part of a big night of action in Sheffield, Kid Galahad (28-1, 17 KOs) makes the maiden defence of his IBF Featherweight World Title against former World Champion Kiko Martinez (42-10-2, 29 KOs), WBC and IBO Super-Featherweight ruler Terri Harper (11-0-1, 6 KOs) returns to put her belts on the line against the USA’s Alycia Baumgardner (10-1, 6 KOs), Donte Dixon (5-0, 3 KO) squares off with Jordan McCorry (19-7-1, 4 KOs) in an eight-round Super-Featherweight contest, James Flint (9-0-1, 2 KOs) battles Dom Hunt (7-0, 1 KO) for the vacant Central Area Welterweight Title, plus there’s action for Harper’s sparring partner Raven Chapman (1-0, 1 KO), Sheffield Light-Heavyweight Khalid Ayub (1-0), Oldham Bantamweight debutant William Cawley andKings Lynn Featherweight Stevi Levy (4-0).