Isaac Chamberlain has been cast in the role of chief support – but the Brixton boxer intends to upstage the cruiserweight main event at Selhurst Park show


Isaac Chamberlain has been cast in the role of chief support on BOXXER’s June 15 show at Selhurst Park, but the Brixton boxer intends to upstage the cruiserweight main event.

Commonwealth champion Chamberlain will be challenging for the vacant European belt against Jack Massey.
And after that Walworth’s Richard Riakporhe intends to wrench the WBO world title off Bournemouth’s Chris Billam-Smith in SE25.
Chamberlain campaigns at the same weight class and was outpointed by Billam-Smith in July 2022.
The 30-year-old has won both his fights since, claiming the British and Commonwealth straps last time out with a unanimous points verdict over Mikael Lawal in November.
Chamberlain’s sights, at least for the short-term, are not set on getting the winner of Riakporhe-Billam-Smith. Instead he wants WBC world champion Noel Mikaelyan.
“We have been trying to sort out an eliminator for the WBC,” Chamberlain (16-2, 8KOs) told the South London Press.
“Hopefully it will be even bigger to fight the winner of this fight (Billam-Smith-Riakporhe) if I win my own world title – we can make it a massive unification.
“This next one is a big fight – at Selhurst Park. I can’t wait to do the business.
“It’s what you wish for when you are young – stadium fights. As a child I dreamed of being in massive events like this – on TV and fighting for massive titles.”
There has been an opponent switch for Chamberlain. Reigning EBU champion Michal Cieslak pulled out of the fight due to injury and relinquished his title.
Cheshire’s Massey (21-2, 12KOs) lost on points to Riakporhe in 2019 and then went up to heavyweight, going the distance but defeated by Joseph Parker at the start of last year.
“Jack is a very good champion, a former IBO champion,” said Chamberlain. “On my journey to becoming a world champion, I have to beat guys like Jack Massey.
“I remember back in the day we had some back and forth, when he had the IBO title, but it didn’t come to fruition. Now all the stars are aligning and we’re back fighting.
“The European title means you are on the way to world championship fights and world level.
“I can’t wait to dismantle him and assert my dominance in this division as one of the world-class guys who is soon to be a world champion.”
So is he looking to steal the show at Crystal Palace Football Club’s stadium?
“Definitely,” said the South Londoner. “You want to impress and everyone to say: ‘Wow, Isaac Chamberlain is that guy’.
Mikael Lawal v Isacc Chamberlain British & Commonwealth Cruiserweight Championships, York Hall, 21 October 2023
Picture : Keith Gillard
“I’m aiming to put in a great performance. I’m aiming to work extremely hard and be the best that I can be.”
Chamberlain had a gruelling clash with Billam-Smith and so is well-placed to give his verdict on the top of the bill encounter.
“It’s a tough one to call,” he said. “Richard hasn’t really been as active, that can play a part. Chris has been very active and he is very tough. Richard is very powerful with that right hand.
“With Chris, he listens to his coach (Shane McGuigan) and his coach will devise a very, very good gameplan on the night.
“There has to be a bit of luck in there somewhere, with both guys. It will be very, very interesting to see.
“Both of them have improved since they last fought (Riakporhe won a split decision over 10 rounds in 2019). Richard definitely has the power to do some damage.”
Chamberlain felt, at the very least, that the scorecards did not reflect the closeness of his bout against Billam-Smith.
He has twice had to rebuild after setbacks, also dropping a wide points decision to Lawrence Okolie in early 2018.
His victory over the heavy-handed Lawal was a significant step in the right direction.
“It was just a sigh of relief – a breath from my soul,” said Chamberlain, asked to reflect on that victory. “Finally, I had done it. I was very grateful for it.
“Now it is about really elevating myself and my career.”
Rival promoter Eddie Hearn slammed Chamberlain for ditching the British belt and not fighting his charge Chev Clarke.
He claimed that Chamberlain’s team vacated just an hour before purse bids were set to take place, by which time Matchroom Boxing had driven to Cardiff to submit their offer in person.
Chamberlain said: “He doesn’t represent me. I’m not his client. The people that are handling me were making sure we made the right decisions for me.
“It’s not Eddie Hearn’s party, because he’ll throw his toys out the pram.
“We feel we are making the right decision to move forward with our careers and not try to fight an 8-0 novice just for bragging rights.
“I’ve no regrets about relinquishing the British title because I’m moving forwards.”
Tottenham’s English champion Viddal Riley (11-0) has also been mooted as an opponent.
“I’m ahead of him in my journey but anything can happen,” said Chamberlain. “It depends…at the end of the day they were offering a whole lot of money – a massive amount.
“That option is always there. There are many other options there as well.
“After I win this European title, the option of a world title is there as well.”
Chamberlain is hoping to be a world champion before the first quarter of 2025 is up.
“It has been a long road, to get to this stage,” he said. “I’m just taking it all in, day by day.”
“I’m still the youngest out of everyone in the division. I can’t wait to fulfil my destiny – which is to become a world champion and beyond.”

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