BILLAM-SMITH WEIGHS IN FOR 'LEGACY' FIGHT AGAINST MASTERNAK

Chris Billam-Smith made weight for the first defence of his WBO cruiserweight world championship.

He came in at 14st 3lbs for Sunday's fight with Mateusz Masternak at the Bournemouth International Centre, live on Sky Sports.

Masternak, facing his first, and what could well be his last, shot at a world championship, looks utterly determined to upset Billam-Smith in his hometown.

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The Pole was greeted by a warm cheer when he stepped on to the scales. At 14st 2lbs Masternak is a broad, solid cruiserweight,

But that was nothing compared to returning hero Billam-Smith's welcome when he took to the scales.

He made weight well for his first defence and held his arms out wide to his supporters.

Billam-Smith might be known as the "Gentleman" but he left Masternak's proffered handshake dangling after their obligatory head-to-head pose.

The Pole was energised. "All that's important is three words," he roared. "And the new!"

Billam-Smith had a two-word response to that: "And still."

Masternak is a dangerous but meaningful challenge for the Bournemouth man. "A great fighter in Masternak and another step towards creating that legacy," he said. "It's an intriguing fight for sure.

"I'm looking to put in a career-best performance in front of this amazing crowd.

"They've been with me every step of the way creating that atmosphere and we do it together."

Another local favourite, Lee Cutler is fighting for the English super-welterweight championship on the bill against Acton's Kingsley Egbunike.

The latter though shrugged off the impact of that home crowd. "It doesn't faze me," he said.

Both made championship weight, Cutler was 10st 13lbs, Egbunike a pound lighter.

"A career best performance from me," Cutler promised. "You're going to see a different Lee Cutler tomorrow night.

"I can win however I want to and I'm going to do that tomorrow night."

Olympic gold medallist Lauren Price subjected Italian opponent, and former European champion, Silvia Bortot to a frosty staredown. Price came in at welterweight, 10st 6lbs with Bortot light at 10st 2lbs 5oz.

Bortot though stands between her and a 2024 world title shot.

"My full focus is on tomorrow night. I want a good, solid performance," Price said. "I just want to show how good I am."

Ben Whittaker was in superb condition as he weighed in at 12st 6lbs for Sunday's contest. His opponent Stiven Leonetti Dredhaj was two pounds heavier but Whittaker showed his height advantage when he went head-to-head with Dredhaj at their final face off.

Neither wanted to break off from a long staredown but Whittaker let the Italian look away first.

The Wolverhampton man wants to win this by knockout.

"I'm ready to go," he said. "It's going to be a beatdown from round one to whatever round.

"I'm just looking forward to the Five Guys afterwards, so I'm just going to try and make it as quick as possible."

Watch Chris Billam-Smith vs Mateusz Masternak live on Sky Sports Arena from 6pm on Sunday

2023-12-09T14:41:26Z dg43tfdfdgfd