Chris Billam-Smith vs Mateusz Masternak Preview December 10th, 2023
WBO Cruiserweight Champion Chris Billam-Smith of Bournemouth, England will be defending his title for the first time as he takes on veteran Mateusz Masternak of Poland in Billam-Smith’s hometown this Sunday, December 10th. The 12-rounder can be seen live in the UK on Sky Sports Arena while fans in America can catch it on NBC’s Peacock network. Billam-Smith won the title back in May when he edged Lawrence Okolie by majority decision. Masternak last boxed in October, 2022 when he beat Jason Whately by a 12-round unanimous decision.
Billam-Smith vs Masternak Betting Odds
- Mateusz Masternak +300
- Chris Billam-Smith -400
The 33-year-old Billam-Smith makes his way to the ring with an impressive mark of 18-1 with 12 Ko’s and has 120 rounds of experience under his belt since turning pro in 2017. Before that he enjoyed a fine amateur career with a reported 32-11 record and fought in several English National Championships, making it to the Final in 2013 and 2016. He measures 6-feet-3-inches tall with a 75-inch reach and hasn’t lost since 2019.
Since turning pro, Billam-Smith stopped Craig Glover in the fifth round in 2019 for the vacant Commonwealth Cruiserweight Crown and then edged Tommy McCarthy by 12-round split decision to add the European and vacant British Titles in July, 2021. He stopped McCarthy in the the eighth round in April, 2022 in their rematch and also has wins over Isaac Chamberlain, Dylan Bregon, Nathan Thorley and Robin Dupre. Of course, the biggest win was his upset of Okolie earlier this year in his hometown.
The lone defeat on Billam-Smith’s record came at the hands of Richard Riakporhe by 10-round split decision in a shot at the WBA Inter-Continental Cruiserweight title in July, 2019. As far as power goes, he has pretty good pop in his punches as 66.7 per cent of his wins have come by way of stoppage but he has gone the distance in five of his last seven fights. Billam-Smith also has a pretty solid chin to go along with the rest of his attributes.
The 36-year-old Masternak climbs through the ropes with a record of 47-5 with 31 Ko’s and has been stopped once as a pro. That was an 11th-round TKO at the hands of Gregory Drozd in October, 2013 in a shot at the European Cruiserweight Belt. He’s also been beaten by Youri Kayembre Kalenga via 12-round split decision in 2014 for the Interim WBA Cruiserweight Title, by 12-round split decision to Johnny Muller in 2015, by 12-round unanimous decision in a slugfest to Tony Bellew in 2015 in a shot at the vacant European Cruiserweight Title and by 12-round unanimous decision to Yunier Dorticos in 2018.
Masternak has boxed 348 rounds since turning pro in 2006 and has a pretty good power as 66 per cent of his wins have been by stoppage but he’s gone the distance in five of his last seven outings. As an amateur, he became the Polish junior champion as a middleweight in 2005 and joined the national junior team. He then reached the quarterfinals of the European Junior Championships and reportedly went 61-9 as an amateur.
He stands six-feet tall with a 76-inch reach so gives up three inches in height to Billam-Smith but has a minimal one-inch reach advantage. Since turning pro, Masternak has won the WBO European, WBA Inter-Continental, IBF Inter-Continental, WBC International Silver, EBU European, IBO Inter-Continental, TWBA, and interim WBC Youth World Cruiserweight Titles. He started his career by going 29-0 and has beaten the likes of Carl Davis, Michael Simms, Shawn Corbin, Jean Marc Mormeck, Adam Balski and Eric Fields.
This is an interesting matchup as Billam-Smith is a tough customer with pretty good power and a steady chin which is also the way I’d describe Masternak. Billam-Smith is expected to win this fight but I definitely wouldn’t count Masternak out of it as he’s got the experience to be more than a handful for the newly-crowned champion. A Masternak victory wouldn’t be much of an upset here but with Billam-Smith fighting at home with momentum and confidence I believe he’ll do enough to hang onto the belt in his first defence.
Billam-Smith has the hometown advantage here.
Play: Billam-Smith -400 @ BetOnline.ag
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