Highlights: Billam-Smith upsets Okolie to win WBO title in wild, weird fight

Fighting

Chris Billam-Smith took the WBO cruiserweight title from Lawrence Okolie today, achieving a dream at home in Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium, but man, was it a weird path to getting there.

Two point deductions, one real knockdown, and two questionable knockdowns “highlighted” a fight that saw Billam-Smith pick up the win on majority decision scores of 112-112, 115-108, and 116-107.

Bad Left Hook unofficially scored the fight 112-111 for Billam-Smith, giving him just four rounds of the bout, where he really didn’t actually do a whole lot, but it’s hard to feel too terribly for Okolie given he was at an all-time worst with his blatant holding — which cost him two points and could have easily cost him more, or even gotten him disqualified in a sport where rules were actually followed.

Billam-Smith (18-1, 12 KO) got a real knockdown in round four, and two questionable knockdowns in the 10th and 11th rounds, and Okolie (19-1, 14 KO) was docked points for holding in rounds five and seven.

There will likely be few tears shed for the end of Okolie’s reign, as he hasn’t exactly been a fan-friendly TV fighter, but with how this fight went and the way it turned out on the cards — and the fact that it’s really not hard to score the fight closer than the two judges had it for Billam-Smith — there could be a rematch, even with as ugly as this was.

And while it was ugly, it was at least sort of fascinatingly ugly.

Okolie vs Billam-Smith highlights

Undercard highlights and results

  • Sam Eggington TKO-5 Joe Pigford
  • Karriss Artingstall PTS-8 Jade Taylor (79-72)
  • Lee Cutler PTS-10 Stanley Stannard (97-95)
  • Michael McKinson TKO-7 Lebin Morales (1:25)

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