By Jonathan Nagioff (@jonathannagioff)
Cruiserweight Chris Billam-Smith has vowed to win a title in 2018, after a fifth straight knockout victory of his career at the o2 academy in Bournemouth on Saturday night.
‘The Gentleman’ maintained his unbeaten record with a fifth round TKO victory over Gheorghe Danut, after the Romanian retired on his stall on the undercard of Matty Legg’s Southern Area title defeat to Tey Lynn Jones.
Seasoned veteran Danut proved durable opposition for the former Poole ABC prospect and even recovered from a knockdown in the fourth round to survive until the fifth, before eventually succumbing to a defeat.
“I knew he was going to be tough,” Billam-Smith explained. “I hit him with a lot of head shots and he just smiled at me and winked.
“He didn’t like the body shots but then he just wouldn’t let me hit him to the body and was just happy to take them to the head.
“But I found a way through and I thought I was going to take him out in that last round, but he didn’t come out for it.”
The victory for Billam-Smith was his first in Bournemouth since his debut, and he was full of praise for the reception he received from the capacity crowd inside the o2.
When asked by the Bournemouth Rock about what it felt like to be fighting back in his hometown, he said: “Amazing and there were about 300 more people in here this time compared to last time, and the atmosphere was unbelievable and that’s what it’s about for me.
“I love boxing at home – getting backed by a massive, massive crowd is just a great feeling.”
The 27-year-old, who made his debut last September, has no plans to halt his momentum and is looking to be back in the ring in June.
He continued, “I’ll be back out in June, I’m not sure where yet. That’s down to the promoters and Barry [McGuigan] my manager.
“I’ve got learning to do. I’ve only had five fights, but I’ll be looking for titles towards the end of the year and just (to) keep stepping up in class of opponent.
“A tough opponent tonight gave me rounds which is good. I hurt him every round as well, so I felt comfortable in there.
“So, I’m looking for whatever title it may be, towards the end of the year.”