Chris Billam-Smith vs Mateusz Masternak final press conference quotes
Photo credit all imagery to Lawrence Lustig/Boxxer
Chris Billam-Smith and Mateusz Masternak exchanged words at the final pre-fight press conference today ahead of their WBO World Cruiserweight Title clash at the Bournemouth International Centre on Sunday, December 10, live on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland and Peacock in the USA.
A sold-out crowd awaits local hero Billam-Smith, who having realised his dream by winning the WBO World Title with a victory over Lawrence Okolie at the Vitality Stadium in May returns to Bournemouth for his first defence against the Polish powerhouse Masternak.
Masternak, who has shared the ring with many of the top names in the cruiserweight division throughout his impressive 52-fight career and who holds more knockout wins than Billam-Smith has had fights, will be aiming to spoil the champion’s homecoming party and fulfil his own world title ambition.
A stacked undercard features 2020 Olympic Medallists Ben Whittaker, who takes on Stiven Leonetti Dredhaj, and Lauren Price, who faces former European Champion Silvia Bortot, with both fighters looking to continue their rapid rise towards title contention.
Lee Cutler contests the vacant English Super Welterweight Title against Kingsley ‘Obi’ Egbunike in a potentially show stealing scrap, Michael McKinson and Musah Lawson battle for the WBC International Silver Welterweight belt, Lewis Edmondson returns against Dmytro Fedas and Francesca Hennessy faces Lucrecia Bellen Arrieta in her second pro bout.
CHRIS BILLAM-SMITH: “The dream was always to win the World Title at the Bournemouth Stadium and I got the opportunity to do that. Before that, we fought for years to get shows down here – and now we’ve had four back-to-back. We’ve got a great time with BOXXER and Sky Sports, we did our part to make it happen, and of course the fans who have turned out to create the amazing atmospheres that everyone loves. I can’t wait to walk out on Sunday as defending champion.
“People don’t have the time of their life, and then give up on life. That’s not how it works. For me, I’m a proud champion. Now I want to cement that legacy and on Sunday night, walking out in front of that crowd gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.
“As long as Masternak’s career has been, as many big fights as he’s had… I don’t think he would have ever experienced an atmosphere like this.”
MATEUSZ MASTERNAK: “My journey in boxing has been going on for a long time. I believe the preparation for this fight has been magical. I believe on December 10th, the WBO belt will be mine.
“I had a deal with my wife. If I wanted a third baby, I had to become World Champion. Now my daughter is 5, so I have to keep my promise.”
BEN WHITTAKER: “This year’s been a bit of a nuisance, a bit stop and start, but Sunday I’m back at it and in 2024 we’re going to really get the ball rolling again.
“There’s many things I can show on Sunday. I’ve showboated, I’ve done this, I’ve done that. I could just come in, break him down, and get out of there – who knows, we’ll see on Sunday.
“We’ve sparred. I asked for 8, and he left after 6.
“Sunday will be called The Italian Job. Hopefully he’s not fearful because that’ll make for a better fight. I want him to come and bring the fight and try and bring something out of me that no-one else has. After I beat him on Sunday, we look on to 2024.”
LAUREN PRICE: “This is a step up again. I’m a completely different fighter to Mayer and I think I’ll prove that on Sunday. I know Sylvia. She’s game, she’s tough, but I believe I’m a level above and I plan to have another solid performance on Sunday, then push on for a big 2024.
“In my last performance, I boxed a girl with an 18-1 record with 10 knock outs. In each fight I’ve stepped up and importantly this year I’ve stayed active. This is my 6th pro fight, and my 4th fight this year. When I’m active and I’ve been in the gym is when I’m at my best. I want to keep this momentum and put on a great performance on Sunday to show what I’m about. I want the winner of Mayer and Jonas in 2024.”
BEN SHALOM, BOXXER Founder and CEO: “What a journey. To be defending the World Title back in Bournemouth is pretty incredible. We looked at this as simply a great fight.
“Sometimes watching Chris Billam-Smith as a promoter, you think ‘be a bit smarter, be a bit cleverer, don’t take the shots’, but he knows only one way. He gives us entertainment every single time. After the last performance, we wanted a great fight.
“Masternak has done the same throughout his career. He’s never fought for a World Title before which is remarkable to think about. To only have two losses on his record in 57 is special.
“I’m expecting a great fight. I know Masternak has been preparing for this for a long time. His team are ready for this. They believe this is their moment, but Chris wants to show that he’s world level and he’s here to stay at world level, to stay as world champion. This is the moment where he proves his dominance of the division.”
RETURN OF THE KING: Chris Billam-Smith vs Mateusz Masternak takes place on Sunday, December 10 at the Bournemouth International Centre and will be broadcast live and exclusively on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland and Peacock in the USA.
This event is presented in association with official partners bet365, Everlast, WOW HYDRATE, Integritas Property Group and Who Dares Gyms.
Article sponsored by HÖRFA