Billam-Smith vs. Masternak Fight Results, Reactions & Recap

By Tom Galm - 12/08/2023 - Comments

Last night, on a blindingly rare Sunday night bash, WBO cruiserweight king Chris Billam-Smith clung onto his crown for the first crack, putting a stop to Mateusz Masternak in the eighth in Bournemouth. Billam-Smith, facing a proper scrap with the Polish bruiser, had to put in a shift to hold onto his title. In the end, he clinched the victory as Masternak bowed out with a rib injury.

Clock stopped at :02 in the eighth, Billam-Smith now boasting a record of 19-1(13). Masternak, who was nicking it on two of the judges’ tally sheets when the fight abruptly wrapped up, now stands at 47-6(31).

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Cracking bout it was, with Masternak setting a blistering pace, outpunching the champ round after round. Looked like Billam-Smith might have to kiss his belt goodbye for a tick. But the 33-year-old dug deep, and in the seventh, he smashed through with some belting success to Masternak’s body. The older fella by three years, Masternak, copped it in the ribs where he copped the injury.

Sure, some hard-nosed sorts might label Masternak a “quitter,” but the agony of shattered ribs is no joke. For Billam-Smith, looks like he’s heading for a dust-up rematch with Richard Riakporhe, the only bloke to nick a win off him, a tight decision back in July 2019. Post-fight, they both nattered about the rematch that’s looking like a dead cert.

“We’ll see [if I call Riakporhe out]. Christmas! I’m after being undisputed. I’m well up for that scrap. Never dodged a fight, me. Me and Rich threw down before but I’m a different animal now,” Billam-Smith chatted after the fight. “It’ll be a stunner of a rematch. He might think he’s got my number after tonight, so I say bring it.”

True as day, Riakporhe, sitting pretty at 17-0(13), reckons he’s got the measure of Billam-Smith again. Chatting with Sky Sports, Riakporhe vowed to flatten Billam-Smith in their next go.

“The punches Masternak was dishing out weren’t exactly thumpers, but you could see they were doing Billam-Smith in,” Riakporhe said. “If I land one on him, what then? How’s he going to handle a jab from me, or a right, or a hook? It’s gonna be nasty. I’ve been dreaming about really doing him over. And from what I’ve seen, I know I can. I know I can.”

This rematch is one to keep an eye out for, likely next year. Riakporhe ain’t got a world title yet, but Billam-Smith’s talking about unifying the cruiserweight division. Still, this rematch is a massive domestic dust-up that makes sense for both fighters. Maybe we’ll see it in the summer?