Boxing Results: Billiam-Smith destroys Xhoxhaj & Azeez stops Fielding
By Jack Tiernan: Cruiserweight contender Chris Billiam-Smith (17-1, 12 KOs) knocked out the always-tough Armend Xhoxhaj (14-3, 7 KOs) in the fifth round in a one-punch KO on Saturday night at the Bournemouth International Centre in Bournemouth, England.
The 32-year-old Billiam-Smith caught a tired-looking Xhoxhaj with a right hand to the head in the fifth round to knock him unconscious, causing him to fall flat on his back without being able to cushion his fall.
Earlier in the fight, Billiam-Smith was staggered by a hard right-hand shot from Xhoxhaj in round two and barely made it out of the round without getting stopped.
Xhoxhaj hammered Billiam-Smith with a flurry of shots after hurting him with a right hand, but somehow, he was able to weather the storm despite getting hit with numerous unblocked shots to the head.
The referee Kieran McCann showed great patience in not stepping in to stop the fight during heavy bombardment from Xhoxhaj.
The victory for Billiam-Smith was his eighth consecutive since losing to Richard Riakporhe. I don’t know that you can say that Billiam-Smith would be a threat to any of the current champions at cruiserweight after this performance, but we’ll see.
After the fight, Billiam-Smith made it known that he wants to challenge for a world title. His bet would be to challenge WBC champ Illunga Makabu, who seems to be the most vulnerable of the four. It would be a bad idea for Billiam-Smith to mix it with WBO champ Lawrence Okolie, IBF champ Jai Opetaia or WBA belt holder Artur Goulamirian.
“It was exactly what I thought it would be. I wasn’t that switched on at the beginning, getting hit with silly shots, but I got the job done, listening to my corner,” said Chris Billiam-Smith to Sky Sports Boxing after the fight.
“In the last round, Shane was telling me to sit down a little bit more. I started doing that, and I caught him with a few shots and obviously hurt him. Thankfully, he’s ok.
“It buzzed me momentarily. I was more annoyed at myself than hurt,” said Billiam-Smith about being hurt in the second round. “I shouldn’t be getting caught by shots like that, especially when I know those shots are coming.”
In other action on the card, British light heavyweight champion Dan Azeez (18-0m 12 KOs) wore down and stopped former WBA super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding (30-3, 17 KOs) in the eighth round.
The 35-year-old Fielding was dropped in the seventh round with a body shot. In the eighth round, Fielding’s corner tossed in the towel after he was getting worked over in the corner by Azeez.
Fielding spent much of the fight perched against the ropes, covering up in the same way he’d done in his third round knockout loss to Canelo Alvarez in 2018.
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