Chris Billam-Smith dominated the ring as he successfully retained his WBO cruiserweight title against Mateusz Masternak in a bout that ended in a manner many fans did not expect. The referee, John Latham, made the decision to wave off the contest a mere two seconds into the eighth round due to an injury sustained by Masternak.
The early stages of the match saw Billam-Smith facing challenges as he struggled to match the intensity displayed by his Polish opponent. Masternak proved to be a formidable adversary, creating difficulties for the British champion. However, the narrative shifted dramatically in the seventh round when Billam-Smith strategically focused on targeting Masternak’s body, ultimately reaping rewards from this tactical adjustment.
This triumph marked Billam-Smith’s first successful defense of his WBO cruiserweight title, which adds to his growing impressive record. The British champion boasts an enviable resume, with 19 victories from 20 fights and a noteworthy 10-fight winning streak. His solitary loss came in 2019 against Richard Riakporhe, and speculation now surrounds the potential for a rematch with this British rival.
Reflecting on the prospect of facing Riakporhe again, Billam-Smith conveyed his eagerness for the challenge. Billam-Smith sees the rematch as an exciting opportunity, expressing confidence in his growth and improvement since their first encounter.
In his words: “Me and Richard boxed in our 10th fight. We had similar records – it was a risk for both of us.
“It will be amazing, the rematch. I’m much better than that. He might look at that and fancy it.”
For now, he gets to remain the welterweight champion for a little longer and gets to call the shots regarding his next match. Maybe he gets to face Riakporhe next, to redeem himself after the first loss to him. He could also decide to take on other opponents, and there’s a growing list of people who want to take the title from him.