Brentwood, UK - In a cruiserweight grudge match, for the EBU, British and Commonwealth titles, Chris Billam-Smith (13-1, 10 KOs) won a hard-fought twelve round split decision over Tommy McCarthy (18-3, 9 KOs).
The scores were 115-114 for McCarthy, 115-114 for Billam-Smith, and 116-112 for Billam-Smith.
A lot of jabbing and wrestling at the start of the first round. Billam-Smith was landing few left hands, but missing a few wild ones as well. McCarthy was doing most of the clinching and wrestling, but he rattled Billam-Smith badly with a big counter right as the round was closing. He was unable to follow up, as Smith was firing back with a lot of punches.
Billam-Smith was doing the better work in the second. Both had moments of success at the start of the third with heavy punches. Billam-Smith was digging well to the body and applying a lot of pressure on McCarthy. A cautious start by both in the fourth. Billam-Smith was jabbing well to the body. McCarthy was timing Billam-Smith was he was coming inside.
At the start of the fifth, Billam-Smith was really putting his punches together. He was unloading with big punches on McCarthy to the head and body. McCarthy was rattled. He didn't seem seriously hurt and was trying to clear his head. In the sixth, McCarthy did a lot better as he went back to his boxing. There was a cut around the right eye of McCarthy.
It was give and take in the seventh. The cut of McCarthy was getting worse. Both boxers looked a bit tired as the eight began. Smith would rattle McCarthy with a combination of big punches. McCarthy recovered and would come back with punches of his own. A close ninth. Both looked exhausted.
In the tenth, Billam-Smith looked to be the fresher of the two and had the edge in workrate. McCarthy was boxing well in the eleventh and using movement. During the twelfth, McCarthy looked to be the fresher man and was landing better during exchanges.