Billam-Smith Shocks Okolie; Cutler Claims Decision As McKinson Gets Stoppage
During the fourth defense of his WBO cruiserweight title, champion Lawrence “The Sauce” Okolie (19-1, 14 KO’s) met disaster. This is because he was upset by Chris “The Gentleman” Billam”Smith (18-1, 12 KO’s) by way of majority decision to the tune of 112/112, 116/107 and 115/108.
Despite the dramatic final outcome, the match itself was rather difficult to watch due to the choppy, clinch-filled nature of the ordeal. In fact, over the course of the twelve rounds, Okolie was docked a total of three points for excessive holding. His unfavorable situation was made all the more dire by the additional two points that The Sauce lost after being floored in the fourth and eleventh periods.
As would be expected, Billam-Smith was overwhelmed with emotion when the judges’ scorecards were read. The Gentleman was gracious in victory and gave Okolie credit for staging a challenging fight. During the post-fight interview, it was also revealed that there is a rematch clause in the contract that The Sauce almost certainly will take advantage of. Therefore, we can all be prepared to see Okolie and Billam-Smith mix it up again, even if most people will not want to.
LEE CUTLER SCORES A LACKLUSTER VICTORY OVER STANLEY STANNARD
In a rather dull affair, super welterweight fighter Lee “Chaos” Cutler (13-1, 7KO’s) defeated Stanley Stannard (10-1, 4 KO’s) without too much trouble. With the win, Cutler was the first to put a blemish on the previously undefeated Stannard’s record. Throughout the match, Cutler was able to utilize superior foot movement to dictate the range and pace of the bout. Here and there, Stannard had his success but he was never able to sustain the type of attack that he wanted or needed to capture victory.
The two acquired a bit of battle damage in the form of small cuts resulting from clashes of the head. During his post-fight interview, Cutler was quick to give credit to his team and coach. With the win, Chaos has inched himself a bit closer to a shot at a British-level title shot. He is now six fights removed from his sole professional defeat at the hands of Bradley Rea back in March 2021.
MICHAEL MCKINSON MAKES QUICK WORK OF LEBIN MORALES
In his latest in ring assignment, welterweight boxer Michael McKinson (25-1-, 4 KO’s) notched his twenty-fifth victory. The UK native accomplished this by stopping a game Lebin Morales (19-7-1, 9 KO’s) in the sixth round of their one-sided duel. From the very start of the fight, it was clear that Morales was out of his league. This notion was punctuated with a sharp left hook that dropped the Nicaraguan in the opening period.
To his credit, Morales found his feet and carried on as a true fighter should, however he was continuously out-maneuvered and belted all around the ring at McKinson’s leisure. At the time of the stoppage, it didn’t appear that Morales was under any serious distress, yet McKinson was throwing a volley of blows. In the post-fight interview, McKinson did not call out any specific names but did let it be known he wants a step-up in competition. It will be interesting to see what McKinson and his team come up with next.