Chris Billam-Smith vs Mateusz Masternak results: Billam-Smith chops down Masternak, retains WBO 200-pound title

Chris Billam-Smith successfully defended his WBO cruiserweight title with a come-from-behind eighth-round stoppage of old Polish warhorse Mateusz Masternak at the Bournemouth International Centre on Sunday. The official time was 0:02.

Billam-Smith (19-1, 13 KOs) was too easy to hit and absorbed scores of headshots in this fight. However, his persistence combined with having the smarts to work his opponent’s body changed the bout in the blink of an eye and Masternak was pulled out as the bell rang for the eighth.

“I said it would be my hardest fight to date,” said Billam-Smith during his post-fight interview with Sky Sports. “I was trying to land my big shots. The finish was a jab and then a right hand and left hand to the body. The right hand was the one that did it. (Trainer) Shane [McGuigan] had noticed that [Masternak] had a lump on the left side of his ribcage.”

Both fighters traded jabs in the opening round and the champion probably took that session on aggression. However, the 36-year-old Masernak did not look out of his depth and showed some real ambition in the first half. He scored regularly with the right hand and his sharp two-fisted bursts banked most of the early sessions.

The pace dropped at the midway point, which initially did Billam-Smith no favours because Masternak had more time to release the punches. The Pole had a handy lead at this point, with his jab and mobility constantly forcing the champ to reset. The only question was could Masternak keep it up through 12 rounds? As it turned out, the answer was no.

In Round 7 there was a seismic shift. In the final minute of that session, Billam-Smith began to score heavily to the body and he disguised the shots well. Masternak’s volume dropped suddenly and he retreated to the ropes in clear distress. The Polish fighter’s body language was awful as he returned to his corner and the stoppage confirmed that there had been damage inflicted to his mid-section.

This wasn’t the best performance of Billam-Smith’s career, but he gets the “W” and can enjoy Christmas with his family.

During his post-fight remarks, the Bournemouth man expressed a desire to unify the cruiserweight division or take on WBO mandatory challenger Richard Riakporhe. It was London’s Riakporhe that handed Billam-Smith his only loss back in 2019.

Masternak drops to 47-6, 31 KOs.

Chris Billam-Smith vs. Mateusz Masternak full card

  • Chris Billam-Smith def. Mateusz Masternak via TKO 8 (0:02); WBO cruiserweight title
  • Lee Cutler def. Kingsley Egbunike via UD 10; English super welterweight title
  • Ben Whittaker def. Stiven Dredha via TKO 4 (0:54)j; Light heavyweights
  • Lauren Price def. Silvia Bortot via UD 8 (80-72); Welterweights
  • Michael McKinson def. Musah Lawson via UD 10 (100-90, 100-90, 99-91); Welterweights
  • Francesca Hennessy def. Lucrecia Belen Arrieta via PTS 6; Bantamweights

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