Chris Billam-Smith has secured a monumental majority decision win over Lawrence Okolie, a victory that has resounded throughout the boxing world. In the aftermath of this world champion triumph, fellow boxer and stablemate, Luke Campbell, shared his perspective on the fight in an exclusive interview with Rob Thomas of Boxing News.
“Unbelievable. Who would have thought Chris Billam-Smith, now a world champion, would sell out his hometown football stadium. When the right person wins in life, he’s that guy,” Campbell shared with unabashed pride.
Billam-Smith, while not regarded as the most talented, fastest, or hardest puncher, impressed Campbell with his hard work and perseverance in the gym. This hard work paid off spectacularly as Smith managed to secure a victory over Lawrence Okolie, who Campbell describes as “the best cruiserweight in the world”.
Despite the initial stages of the fight falling into a typical Okolie pattern of jabs and holds, Billam-Smith turned the tide in the fourth round with a heavy left hook that unbalanced Okolie. This pivotal moment shifted the momentum of the fight in Smith’s favor.
“It was a turning point definitely. You could see in the last couple of rounds the desperation in Lawrence,” Campbell explained. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen Lawrence go like that in any of his fights. Lawrence was desperately wanting to win, to keep his title, and he did everything he could.”
As the fight unfolded, Okolie unleashed several massive shots at Billam-Smith. However, Billam-Smith rode out these attempts and came back with his own attacks, ultimately claiming victory.
Campbell expressed his confusion over the scorecards. He believed that the three knockdowns and two-point deductions Smith inflicted should have given him a clear lead.
“To have it a draw, I don’t understand that card. Just that in itself should be way ahead. A lot of the fight was messy in parts, but with that, there’s no chance Chris can’t win that fight,” he commented.
Looking back, Campbell couldn’t hide his pride and happiness for his friend and fellow fighter, Billam-Smith. From fighting in small shows to selling out stadiums as a world champion, Billam-Smith’s journey, according to Campbell, is one of resilience and determination.
Campbell concluded, “He’s a world champion. I’m so unbelievably happy for him. He deserves everything he gets.”