‘The Gentleman’ primed for second Fight Camp outing
Chris Billam-Smith has predicted that he will “take out” Tommy McCarthy “in the mid to late rounds” when the Cruiserweight rivals collide for the European, British and Commonwealth Titles on the first week of Matchroom Fight Camp in Brentwood, Essex on Saturday July 31, live worldwide on DAZN.

‘The Gentleman’ used the power of social media to help secure a shot at the European and British Titles when he sent the following Tweet to McCarthy on May 12: “Stop trying to avoid me. I’d punch holes in you. Don’t bottle it”. 

Just more than a month later, the pair went face to face with their bout confirmed for July 31.

Billam-Smith was made to work as he dropped the Czech Republic’s Vasil Ducar twice during a hard-fought points victory that saw him claim the vacant WBA Continental Cruiserweight Title and progress to 12-1 (10 KOs) at The SSE Arena, Wembley in March. 

The former Poole ABC man, who blasted out Nathan Thorley in two rounds last year at Fight Camp, believes he will eventually wear down McCarthy to deliver another stoppage triumph as he continues to build towards a World Title shot under the guidance of trainer Shane McGuigan.

“We were calling out Tommy McCarthy after my fight at Fight Camp last year,” said Billam-Smith. “I was getting interviewed after that and we were talking about it. It’s been a year in the making. Obviously with Tommy boxing on Matchroom shows and myself wanting bigger Titles and him picking up the European – it was a fight that made sense. I believe it’s a really fan-friendly fight and a great one for my career. I’ve been asking for it for a while and we’ve finally got it. 

“I’ve seen Tommy and I’ve watched him for a few years now. He’s a very decent fighter. He’s got quick hands and a very good boxing IQ. It’s an exciting challenge for me. Winning the European Title will be a massive achievement for me and it’s one that I’m really looking forward to, but also, it’s a step that you plan to make on the journey. 

“You can’t take too much from his last fight. He did exactly what he had to do. He boxed well, he hurt him to the body, but unfortunately there wasn’t much coming back so there’s not much you can really take from that win. There will be a lot of other fights of his from the past that you can watch that are better wins for him because the opponents brought out more of him. 

“I sent that one Tweet out which got a lot of traction, a lot more than I expected to be honest. I’m just glad he took the fight and it’s got him right up for the fight which is great to see. That’s what fans want to see. They want to see two domestic fighters going at it, and in the press conferences as well.

“It looks like I’ve riled him up a bit so he’s going to be fired up for this fight. He’s going to be training very hard. I expect a very good performance from him. The fight will definitely catch fire. Every fighter wants to win with a knockout and I think this is a really good opportunity for me to put all of my skillset to work. I can box, I can break him down and I believe that I will take him out in the mid to late rounds.”

McCarthy vs. Billam-Smith is part of a huge night of action as Fight Camp returns with a bang, rising Welterweight star Conor Benn (18-0, 12 KOs) puts his WBA Continental Title on the line against Adrian Grandos (21-8-3, 15 KOs), WBA Featherweight World Champion Xu Can (18-2, 3 KOs) defends his Title against Nottingham’s Leigh Wood (24-2, 14 KOs), former World Title challenger Avni Yildirim (21-3, 12 KOs) aims to bounce back from his loss to pound-for-pound king Canelo Alvarez when he takes on ‘Little Lever’s Meat Cleaver’ Jack Cullen (19-2-1, 9 KOs), Liverpool Super-Welterweight Anthony Fowler (14-1, 11 KOs) promises to build on his huge third-round knockout win over Jorge Fortea when he takes on Roberto Garcia (44-5, 27 KOs), Manchester Lightweight Campbell Hatton (2-0) continues his young journey in the pro ranks against Jakub Laskowski (4-4-1, 2 KOs) and former amateur star Sandy Ryan makes her highly-anticipated professional debut at Super-Lightweight against Kirstie Bavington (3-1-2, 2 KOs).
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‘Mac Attack’ makes first defence of EBU Cruiserweight crown
Tommy McCarthy knows he can’t afford any slip ups when he puts his European Cruiserweight Title on the line for the first time against Romania’s Alexandru Jur tomorrow nightat the AO Arena, Manchester, live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in the US and more than 200 countries and territories.

Belfast’s McCarthy landed the EBU strap after a hard-fought majority decision victory over Bilal Laggoune on the Oleksandr Usyk vs. Derek Chisora undercard at The SSE Arena, Wembley back in October. 
McCarthy’s stablemate James Tennyson, who also found himself on the verge of World Title action after a run of explosive knockouts, suffered a shock stoppage defeat last time out at the hands of Mexico’s Jovanni Straffon.
‘Mac Attack’ says watching his countryman fall short earlier this month has made him “switch on even more” as he looks to continue his push towards World Title action. 
“I’ve been saying all week I’m expecting a tough test,” said McCarthy. “He’s got all the experience and boxed at the championship level for some time. He looks in good shape, it seems like he’s had a good camp and he seems like he wants to do his talking in the ring so I’m even more nervous.
“I was prepared for a tough fight but when I saw him [Bilal Laggoune] at the weigh-in he looked like he hadn’t trained properly so I kind of switched off a little bit. When it came to fight night, he was ready to go so he pushed me. There are no easy fights when you’re fighting for the European Title, at the time he was number seven in the world. It was a big win for me, a big confidence boost and I’m delighted I came out the winner.
“There’s so much potential for a massive future ahead of me, I need to put all of that in the back of my mind. James Tennyson, we’re from the same place, everything was set up for him to go onto bigger and better things but it didn’t go his way. That’s made me switch on even more, put anything past this out of my mind because this is going to be a tough fight on Saturday, and I can’t afford any slip ups.”

McCarthy vs. Jur is part of a big night of action in Manchester, Joshua Buatsi (13-0, 11 KOs) fights under Virgil Hunter for the first time against unbeaten Frenchman Daniel Blenda Dos Santos (15-0, 8 KOs),three European Title fights feature on the bill with Gamal Yafai (18-1, 10 KOs) defending his Super-Bantamweight Title for the first time against Jason Cunningham (28-6, 6 KOs) and Lerrone Richards (14-0, 3 KOs) taking on Italy’s Giovanni De Carolis (28-9-1, 13 KOs) for the vacant Super-Middleweight strap, Dalton Smith (7-0, 6 KOs) takes on Lee Appleyard (16-5-1, 5 KOs) for the vacant English Super-Lightweight Title, Birmingham Heavyweight Solomon Dacres makes his professional debut and Ellis Hopkins makes history when she becomes the first female from the traveller community to turn professional.
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