Lawrence Okolie suffers THREE knockdowns and TWO point deductions as hometown hero Chris Billam-Smith wins world title


CHRIS BILLAM-SMITH put Bournemouth on the boxing map with a world title win over old mate Lawrence Okolie.

CBS, 32, spent four years training alongside Hackney’s 30-year-old and shared over 300 sparring rounds with him.

PAChris Billam-Smith won the world title in his hometown[/caption]

ReutersChris Billam-Smith celebrates his victory[/caption]

ReutersThe new champ celebrates with wife Mia[/caption]

So, in front of 15,000 fans at the Cherries’ Vitality stadium, he had the perfect gameplan to win the WBO cruiserweight crown with a majority decision.

After Okolie was dropped three times and docked two points, the judges scored it 112-112, 116-107 and 115-108.

The Gentleman missed son Stan’s first birthday on Friday to weigh-in under the 14st 4lbs limit and wanted to give his boy the best possible present, a world title belt.

Okolie insisted he was happy to play the bad guy and ruin the party and he was booed into the ring.

Okolie started the second more spitefully, with a couple of rifled right hands, but the bulk of the round was a hugfest, with ref Marcus McDonnell regularly pulling the giants apart.

Then Billam-Smith stunned the stadium with a left hook that dropped Okolie for the first time in his career and almost finished him.

The Sauce stumbled up to his feet and beat the count but then had to desperately cling on, making CBS trainer Shane McGuigan rage and leap up and down Left smashing the canvas.

Okolie’s gangly legs were still wobbly in the fifth and he rightly lost a point for even more holding.


But CBS’s face was swelling up from regular thudding blows and the recurring head clashes.

Boos and cries of “w*****” rang out in the sixth when Okolie was warned again for roughhousing and Billam-Smith seemed to hurt him again with a right hand.

Okolie lost another point in the seventh for his octopus-like holding, he was too busy clinging onto CBS to keep hold of his crown.

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Okolie finally landed some decent shots in the eighth when CBS got careless and showed signs of fatigue.

CBS scored with a couple of clever left looks in round nine but Okolie remained dangerous, with one right hand slashing through the challenger’s guard.

ReutersChris Billam-Smith takes a big right hand[/caption]

ReutersLawrence Okolie had two points taken off[/caption]

GettyChris Billam-Smith scored three knockdowns[/caption]

The tenth was thrilling, Okolie was decked again and only just beat the count. But then he battered back with a right-hand-left-hook combination that almost KO’ed CBS.

Blood was seeping from Billam-Smith’s left eye by the eleventh and Okolie was warned again over head butting.

Then Okolie collapsed on the floor again through exhaustion or another short left hook and could not land a KO in the 12th.

The tearful new champ said: “My whole life has led to this, this is perfect.

“Lawrence was a great champion who never looked like getting beat. It was not a great looking fight but that doesn’t matter.

“I didn’t eat from Tuesday to Thursday to make the weight, I was sick in bed all week, i just had to make the weight.

“I dedicate this to my mum, I love you so much, thank you so much. I will never top this night, this is the greatest of my career.

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“I thank the fans because they created this for me. I have become a world champion, in my home town.”

PAChris Billam-Smith celebrates his world title win[/caption]

ReutersThe former training partners embrace[/caption]

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