Eddie Hearn wants to make Tommy McCarthy vs Chris Billam-Smith for European title

Chris Billam-Smith says a fight with Belfast cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy “makes sense,” should he beat Nathan Thorley on Friday night.

In fact he claims Eddie Hearn wants to make if for the European title.

McCarthy was ordered by the EBU on Tuesday to fight for the vacant European title with an opponent to be announced, after Lawrence Okolie relinquished the crown with a vacant WBO World title fight with Kryztof Glowacki on the horizon.

That opponent will be confirmed by the EBU once they redraw their current rankings – and it’s safe to suggest they will install a #1 contender to fight ‘The Mack Attack’.

And Billam-Smith, 30, who makes a first defence of his Commonwealth title on Friday in Fight Camp, says promoter Eddie Hearn wants to make him versus ‘Big Tommy’ and has praised the 29-year-old for bouncing back with three wins since his defeat to common opponent Richard Riakporhe in 2019.

“I think that’s a fight that would need a crowd as well,” Billam-Smith told Pro Boxing Fans.

“So as long as the crowds are back then I think that fight makes sense.

“Eddie [Hearn] said he really wants to make it and we really want to make it so hopefully Tommy will take it as well.

“I’m sure he will, he’s on the form of his life at the moment, he’s done really well in his last few fights. 

“I think he’s a really talented boxer and I think that amateur pedigree’s come through now.

“Obviously the loss against [Richard] Riakporhe, but he’s now pushed on and he’s done really well since that.”

Billam-Smith must first navigate his way through unbeaten Welshman Nathan Thorley on Friday, who has two wins since moving up from Light-Heavyweight.

However, the Bournemouth native believes his sparring with stablemate, Okolie and former two-time World champion Mairis Briedis will prove pivotal and is predicting a stoppage victory in the gardens of Matchroom HQ.

“I expect him to be awkward for a couple of rounds, I expect him to have fast hands. 

“I think he’ll be a thuddy puncher. I think moving up in weight will benefit him.

“But, I think the experience will be key in this fight and just the experiences I’ve had over the last year, to year or year-and-a-half.

“Just constantly sparring world class people, [Mairis] Briedis, Lawrence Okolie, George Groves in the past.

“Then obviously, I’ve had two 50-50 fights as such in domestic clashes, so I think all that’s going to pay off and I expect to take him out in the mid to late rounds.”

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: [email protected]