by Jonathan Nagioff (@JonathanNagioff)
Chris Billam-Smith recorded an eighth-straight win, stopping Kent Kauppinen in the sixth round at Bournemouth’s O2 academy on Saturday night.
After flooring Kauppinen in the opening two rounds, the scheduled six round fight looked to be heading to a points decision.
However, Billam-Smith unleashed a crushing onslaught in the final round, with the referee jumping in to stop the bout.
Billam-Smith is now expected to fight Wadi Camacho for the Commonwealth title in early 2019.
The 28-year-old trained out of McGuigan’s gym seemed on the verge of an early knockout win after landing some huge right hands to both head and body.
Kauppinen, a former MMA fighter took a knee in the first round after receiving some heavy blows and was floored again in the second round following a lightning left hook.
Kauppinen to his credit sprung to his feet almost immediately after the second knockdown and after surviving a tricky opening period, began to establish himself in the bout.
The pair traded in the centre of the ring in the third and fourth rounds, as the home favourite was dragged into a dog fight.
Billam-Smith was able to find the target in the fifth and the former Poole ABC man continued to probe away with his testing jab.
The Bournemouth man landed with a huge uppercut in the sixth round, but was not allowed any breathing space as Kauppinen opened up with some heavy right hands of his own.
As the fight entered the sixth and final round, Billam-Smith burst out of his corner landing a string of accurate blows, with the referee stopping the bout handing the home favourite a knockout victory.
Billam-Smith is the mandatory challenger for Wadi Camacho’s Commonwealth strap with the fight expected to take place early next year.