The EBU European, Commonwealth and British Cruiserweight titles are on the line in Essex on Saturday between Tommy McCarthy and Chris Billam-Smith.
McCarthy enters as the +225 underdog at the online sportsbook, but the 30-year-old has the record to cause an upset against “The Gentleman: Chris Billiam-Smith, who is 12-1.
It looms as an even 12-round fight that could be decided in the final few rounds.
McCarthy’s Biggest Test
McCarthy is all too aware of what beating Billam-Smith would do for his career. The Belfast native is 18-2 after scoring a knockout win over Alexandru Jur and that came only two months ago, so his fitness levels are high.
Prior to that, McCarthy scored a majority decision win against Bilal Laggoune and a split-decision win over the previously undefeated Fabio Turchi. Both fights were three-star rated, so he did well to come through unscathed.
He is looking forward to this fight, which could springboard him to a potential world title bout.
“It’s been a long journey to this point. I’ve always wanted to be on the biggest stage and to be a world champion,” McCarthy told the Belfast Telegraph. “This is the most important fight of my career and although the three belts would be nice, the main motivation for me is the fact that I know a win will get me a crack at the world title.
“That’s why this fight is a life-changer. Everything I’ve worked for, right back to those days in Oliver Plunkett with my old coach Patsy McAllister is on the line here. Some people talk about pressure in a fight like this but for me, it’s excitement that I’m that bit closer to my dreams.”
Tommy McCarthy v Chris Billam Smith is one of the best fights of 2021 on British shores……..has everything , evenly matched, with 3 prestigious belts on the line. Go at it lads! 🥊🥊🔥🔥
— Bettor_Q (@q_bettor) July 29, 2021
He has been able to rebound from a loss to Richard Riakporhe in 2019. The TKO loss could have ended his career, but he bounced back impressively.
Boxing betting markets have McCarthy at +225 to win and those odds could shorten closer to fight time.
Billam-Smith Eyes Knockout
Winning the fight isn’t enough for Billam-Smith. He wants to showcase his skills on the world stage and in front of powerful promoter Eddie Hearn.
The cruiserweight champion also suffered a loss to Richard Riakporhe in 2019, but he scored consecutive TKO wins over Craig Glover and Nathan Thorley. His win over the previously unbeaten Thorley was a solid effort and it bodes well for this fight.
— BoxingScene.com (@boxingscene) July 24, 2021
Billam-Smith has been talking the talk, which isn’t uncommon with Hearn-promoted fights. It has prompted McCarthy to fight back, but Billam-Smith is expecting a statement performance at the Matchroom Fight Camp.
“I’ve seen Tommy and I’ve watched him for a few years now. He’s a very decent fighter. It looks like I’ve riled him up a bit so he’s going to be fired up for this fight,” Billam-Smith said.
“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.”
He has the power to finish the fight, but we haven’t been overly impressed with his form to date. Billam-Smith has had only one three-star fight and it resulted in a loss, so McCarthy is the more accomplished fighter.
Boxing odds have Billam-Smith at -300, which is a short price. We don’t see much value in those odds, but we think the odds could even up on fight night.
Bettors get excellent value with McCarthy and we’re picking an upset result.
McCarthy has the better fight experience, and although there are areas he could improve, he’s good enough to score the victory.
We’re more than happy with the +225 odds available and he is a fighter to follow out of the English boxing scene.