Bournemouth, UK - WBO cruiserweight champion Chris Billam-Smith (19-1, 13 KOs) overcame some tough moments to stop veteran Mateusz Masternak (47-6, 31 KOs) in seven rounds. (photos by Lawrence Lustig)
Billam-Smith was making the first defense of the belt he captured back in May, with a stunning win over Lawrence Okolie.
Billam-Smith took the fight to Masternak in the very first round. The face of Masternak began to swell up very quickly. Masternak was being pushed back and seemed to be on the defensive right away.
In the second round, Billam-Smith once again went right after Masternak and applied a lot of pressure with heavy punches raining in. Masternak began to have success in spots, with accurate punches that were starting to connect to the head and body.
The third was a give and take between the two boxers. Billam-Smith was throwing a solid job more often. In the final minute they were trading away with both boxers connecting with hard power shots. During the fourth, the left eye of Billam-Smith was cut and Masternak was starting to come on with combinations.
The fifth saw Masternak go after Billam-Smith, who was happy to fight fire with fire. In the sixth it was Masternak giving Billam-Smith a lot of trouble and was landing often. During the seventh, a cut opened up above the left eye of Masternak with two fighters trading away. Billam-Smith came on strong at the end of the round with shots to the head and body.
Before the start of the fight, Masternak was unable to come out and cited a rib injury.