On Saturday night, Chris Billam-Smith pulled off a big upset when he took a majority decision victory (112-112, 116-107, 115-108) over unbeaten Lawrence Okolie to become the WBO cruiserweight world champion in front of 15,000 hometown fans at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth.
The sold-out crowd were totally behind Billam-Smith and provided a frantic atmosphere for all 36 minutes of the fight. With three knockdowns and two point deductions, a new world champion was crowned.
Okolie looked confident from the first bell, catching Billam-Smith with a solid right hand in the first round that stunned Billam-Smith a little bit and forced him to be more cautious.
The fight continued on a similar path, with Okolie throwing big rights and holding when necessary until Billam-Smith threw a looping counter-left hook to knock Okolie down in the fourth round, and unloading for the rest of the round hunting for a stoppage but failing to find it.
Points were taken from Okolie in the fifth and seventh due to excessive holding, and another knockdown by Billam-Smith in the tenth, meant Okolie went into the final two rounds hunting for a stoppage.
Okolie tried his best in the last two rounds to find that stoppage, opening himself up to another knockdown in the eleventh.
After the fight, Okolie offered no excuses and promised to come back stronger.
"I accept the decision. He did great work in there. He got a knockdown that changed the momentum of the fight and he did enough to win it" Okolie said.
"I was in there, he was doing a lot of good stuff and got a good knockdown which changed the momentum. I love being the winner and the champion, I have to take my hat off to him, he did very good work. We're going to run it back.
'I trained really hard because I know what Chris is made of. Today is his night, I might be down but I'm definitely not out. This was Chris at his very best. I can adapt to a loss, I'll be back again."