AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW Sat: Chris Billam-Smith v Isaac Chamberlain

British cruiserweights Chris Billam-Smith and Isaac Chamberlain will square off this weekend in a highly anticipated clash that will edge the winner a step closer to cruiserweight gold.

These two are among the best 200lb fighters in the country and this fight promises to be explosive for as long as it lasts.

The contest will be staged in Bournemouth and marks the return of big-time boxing to the area. Bournemouth have been starved of competitive fighters in recent years but the rise of Chris Billam-Smith has been well celebrated by the locals and now the European champion returns to put on a show for his home supporters.

Billam-Smith, also known as ‘The Gentleman’, has a record of 15-1(11KO) and there is a lot of excitement around him. He has been praised highly by his coach Shane McGuigan and although you would expect coaches to always back their fighters, Mcguigan is gaining a reputation for being a top-level coach which gives more substance to the hype behind the Bournemouth man.

The one defeat on his record came against highly touted knockout artist Richard Riakporhe in 2019. Riakporhe is regarded as one of the biggest punchers in the division and although Billam-Smith lost that fight, it was by split decision and he is the only fighter that has caused Riakporhe problems. The loss will have hurt the Bournemouth man but as time passes, it looks like an impressive piece of form.

Since that defeat in 2019, Billam-Smith has notched up six successive victories and captured the EBU and commonwealth titles. His latest knockout of Tommy McCarthy was very impressive and he will need a similar performance if he is to overcome Isaac Chamberlain this weekend.

Isaac Chamberlain has a very similar record and story to his opponent this weekend but he arrives in Bournemouth still looking for the first big victory of his career. The Londoner has been touted as a potential world title challenger and with a record of 14-1(8KO) he has done very little wrong in his professional career.

His sole defeat came at the hands of a destructive puncher and now world champion, Lawrence Okolie in 2018. He was outgunned in that fight but he only lost by decision and given how successful Okolie has been since that fight, it demonstrates how much potential Chamberlain has.

Since that defeat, Chamberlain has rebuilt on the small hall scene and notched up five wins including three first round stoppages. Those fights have been at a lower level than what he faces this weekend but he enters this fight in good form.

From a betting perspective, this one is tough to call as both men head into the fight with momentum. They share very similar records and have contrasting styles that will match up well. Billam-Smith likes to set the pace of a fight and will be on the front foot from the opening round which will suit Chamberlain who is effective on the front foot but prefers when the fight comes to him and he can pick his opportunities on the back foot.

The home fighter starts as the (4/9) favourite with Chamberlain priced at (15/8). With home advantage and more experience on bigger cards, ‘The Gentleman’ is the right favourite but he will have to work hard for it and the more interesting bet may for this fight to NOT go the distance at (11/8).

Many have this down as a distance fight but when you look closer at the form, both men carry power but they have both been hurt multiple times during their career and with so much on the line here, a big finish could be on the cards.

BACK Billam-Smith vs Chamberlain NOT to go the distance 1pt at 11/8 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)

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