Eddie Hearn is keen to match two well-known fighters for a vacant title sooner rather than later.
The Matchroom Boxing head honcho was at ringside earlier this month at the company’s Mascalls headquarters in Brentwood, Essex to see Chris Billam-Smith retain his Commonwealth crown with a scintillating second-round stoppage win over previously undefeated Welshman Nathan Thorley.
Billam-Smith, who is now 11-1 with 10 quick, has a loss on his ledger, to Richard Riakporhe from when the pair contested the vacant British title back in December last year, as part of a JDNXTGEN card at Bethnal Green’s famous York Hall venue.
But Hearn is keen to pit the Shane McGuigan-trained cruiserweight against the mandatory challenger for the European title.
Lawrence Okolie, the former British champion who has also held the Commonwealth belt in his time as a professional, is due to challenge Krzysztof Glowacki for the vacant WBO world title in the 200-pound division before the end of the year.
Hearn has tabbed that fight to take place on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s mandated defence of his IBF world heavyweight title against Kubrat Pulev –– which will also be for the WBO, IBO and WBA Super world heavyweight titles but has yet to receive a concrete date or venue –– and Okolie, as a result, has relinquished the blue bauble.
Tommy McCarthy (16-2, 8 KOs) is the man expected to be in the opposite corner to Billam-Smith, should the fight be made, after the Belfast fighter was made next in line for a shot.
“I really want to push him on to European level now,” said Billam-Smith’s coach McGuigan after his charge’s latest win. “I know the European title is vacant now that Lawrence [Okolie] has vacated it.”
“I think we could try to push Eddie to get Tommy McCarthy against Chris Billam-Smith for the end of the year for a European title shot.”
There is one problem, though, and that is that Billam-Smith doesn’t have a ranking with the European Boxing Union.
McCarthy, however, has been very receptive to the idea of facing the Bournemouth fighter and it remains to be seen whether the fight can be made.