Chris Billam-Smith brutally stops Armend Xhoxhaj in 5th round

Boxxer ended their 2022 campaign in the seaside town of Bournemouth. Topping the bill was local lad Chris Billam-Smith, who squared off against Kosovan, Armend Xhoxhaj in the cruiserweight division.

The cruiserweight clash ended in brutal fashion, Billam-Smith landing a delightful right uppercut that sent Xhoxhaj to sleep midway through the fifth round. Billam-Smith landed a left hook to the body, followed by a left hook upstairs and finished the job with the right uppercut. Referee Kieran McCann immediately waved the count to the delight of Billam-Smith and the Bournemouth crowd.

Xhoxhaj started the contest frailly well pressing the fight in the first two rounds. However, as the contest continued into the third and fourth, Billam-Smith started to land more and more. Chris-Billam-Smith moves to 17-1, with Armend Xhoxhaj suffering his third career loss. Coincidently all of Xhoxhaj’s three defeats have now come by stoppage, with his record now standing at 14-3.

“I probably wasn’t switched on enough at the beginning and got caught with a few silly shots, but we got the job done! I walked him down with a few shots and obviously hurt him and thankfully he is ok.” Said Billam-Smith to Sky Sports.

“He buzzed me momentarily. I was more annoyed with myself than hurt. The finish was very well connected and obviously a great finish. I celebrated a little bit too early, but let's go Dean Court (home to A.F.C Bournemouth) and let's get a World title.”

Talk now turns towards a World title shot for the Bournemouth man.

Promoter Ben Shalom stated after the fight “Jai Opetaia wants this fight! Chris Billam-Smith wants this fight! Chris Billam-Smith is going to fight for a World title in Bournemouth and it is going to be unbelievable.”

IBF World champion Jai Opetaia ripped the title from Mairis Briedis this past July in Australia, however he suffered a broken jaw in the bout with Mairis Briedis. The fight is loosely pencilled in for early summer in 2023.

Notable undercard results:

Dan Azeez claimed the Commonwealth Light heavyweight title and defended his British title against the experienced Rocky Fielding. Azeez moves to 18-0 in a fight where the titles were only on the line for himself as Rock Fielding came in one pound over the limit. It did little to help the Liverpudlian who was down in the seventh round before his corner threw the towel in during the eight round.