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Boxing Results: Chris Billiam-Smith Dethrones Lawrence Okolie

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By Matt Lieberman: WBO cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie (19-1, 14 KOs) saw his two-year title reign end on Saturday night, losing to voluntary challengr Chris Billiam-Smith (18-1, 12 KOs) by a twelve round majority decision at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth, England.

(Photo credit to BOXXER: Lawrence Lustig)

The 32-year-old Billiam-Smith took advantage of the 6’5″ Okolie giving up his height and reach by trying to hold him all night.

With Okolie in punching raange, due to his frequent clinching, the shorter 5’11” Billiam-Smith knocked him down three times, once in rounds 4, 10 and 11. Okolie also lost two points for holding in rounds 5 and 7.

The scores were112-112, 116-107, 115-108. Okolie has reportedly already decided to execute his rematch clause to fight Billiam-Smith again to try and avenge the loss.

“It wasn’t the most entertaining fight, but I believe I did enough to win it,” said Chris Billiam-Smith to Sky Sports Boxing after the fight. “I was sick in bed a week. I didn’t eat from Tuesday to Thursday. It was easy making weight.”

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“Chris is a gentleman. The good thing about Chris is that sometimes you get a fighter like that, no disrespect, was never really destined to be aa world champion, but he’s worked so hard, and Shane has done a great job with him,” said Eddie Hearn to Boxing Social.

“He’s been consistent; he’s lived the life. He’s always been in shape, and tonight he became a world champion. It’s a massive achievement for him,” Hearn continued about the 32-year-old Billiam-Smith.

“I know they [Okolie] have the rematch clause, but I don’t know what’s going to happen with that. He could go on and be in big unification fights, so congratulations to him.

“You can’t just start sticking a knife in now because he lost. He’s been poorly advised, Lawrence Okolie. He believed he could beat Billiam-Smith on away soil, and he wanted the big unification fights.

“He’s had two fights now, and they haven’t been, and he got beat. You can get beat anytime. He was definitely poorly advised, but it’s irrelevant when you talk about the fights, and I wish him all the best

“I’m not being funny. Where is Lawrence Okolie going to go?” said Hearn when told that Okolie has already invoked the rematch clause to get a second fight against Billiam-Smith.

“No one is going to be overly interested in watching him fight non-title fights, even when he’s in a title fight. At least there is a little bit of drama in a rematch. It’s not great for Billiam-Smith, but it’s what happens when you have a voluntary defense.

“That worked really well outdoors at Bournemouth, but obviously, they can’t do that again. So I don’t know where they put that fight. He was a champion and gave Billiam-Smith a shot. A rematch clause is a standard procedure,”  said Hearn.



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