BY JACK BURGESS
Isaac Chamberlain produced a dominant performance to defeat Mikael Lawal at York Hall on Saturday evening and claimed two cruiserweight belts in the process.
It has been a long road for the Brixton-born fighter, who lost on points to European and Commonwealth champion Chris Billam-Smith – in what was certainly one of the best fights of 2022.
It is testament to Chamberlain, 29, that he was able to bounce back a little more than 12 months later and execute a clever and commanding performance over Lawal.
Chamberlain won by scores of 118-111 (twice) and 119-111.
He took the British title off of Lawal as well as winning the vacant Commonwealth strap.
“I’m just grateful,” Chamberlain told iFL TV. “I’m grateful to God. I’m blessed to be in this position to even compete for this title. Every dog has its day, man.
“The fight played out as I expected. I nearly got caught a few times. He’s a very hard puncher. But I had to stay smart. I had to stick to the game plan, which I did.”
Chamberlain (16-2) enjoyed the vast majority of support within Bethnal Green’s York Hall.
“I had to just cancel out the noise and focus on my performance,” he said. It’s great them being there, but I had to just not let that affect me and stick to my game plan”.
Chamberlain told our paper recently that his goal was to win a version of the world title and then rematch Billam-Smith in a unification.
“If I have a world title and he has a world title – we both make some millions,” said the South Londoner.
WBO champion Billam-Smith was on media duty at the BOXXER event but feels that talk of another encounter with Chamberlain is premature.
“Isaac has got a lot of attributes, but I think we’ll need to see a better opponent for him,” he told Sky Sports. “He’s probably a few fights off that world level.
“He’s probably ranked in the top 15 of a couple of the governing bodies but he needs more than that.”
Billam-Smith called for Chamberlain to fight English cruiserweight champion Viddal Riley, who was also ringside.
“It depends on what he wants to do,” said Billam-Smith. “Push on to fight for a world title soon or take the likes of a Viddal Riley fight, which is an interesting fight.
“It could be a bit too soon for Viddal but I believe he’s willing to test himself and I think that’s a really interesting fight.”
PICTURES: KEITH GILLARD
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