Chris Billam-Smith says Carl Frampton wasted his time playing ‘mind games’ ahead of the Englishman’s recent win over Belfast fighter Tommy McCarthy in Essex.
The Englishman also claimed The Jackal’s high-profile appearance at the Matchroom Fight Camp was predictable, but had no bearing on the end result.
Billam-Smith won on a split decision to add the British and European cruiserweight titles to the Commonwealth belt he already held heading to Matchroom HQ.
Frampton, who retired in April, was in McCarthy’s corner for the bout, while Billam-Smith is trained by Shane McGuigan and is part of Barry McGuigan’s Cyclone Promotions stable.
It was the first time The Jackal and his former manager were in the same boxing environment since their highly-publicised court case concluded in November.
“I said to Shane as soon as the fight was made ‘you know what’s going to happen’,” Billam-Smith told RingWalk UK Media’s YouTube channel.
“We were prepared for it and we knew it was going to happen.
“I knew Tommy and Carl were good friends and I think someone sent me the Tweet of Frampton saying he wanted to be the bucket boy.
“I said to them ‘they’re going to stick him in to watch my hands get wrapped’. This was six weeks before the fight, so we were prepared for it.”
A lot was made of the Frampton, McGuigan ‘beef’ in the build-up to the fight after The Jackal was called in to help in McCarthy’s corner at the Matchroom Fight Camp.
A clip of Shane and Carl exchanging words outside an elevator in the fight hotel a couple of days before the bout went viral.
There were also awkward scenes when Frampton and former mentor Barry McGuigan were in the same changing rooms for hand wrapping checks on both boxers.
The Jackal’s appearance certainly generated more interest in the fight and it is understood McCarthy was keen to have his mate in his corner.
But Billam-Smith believes the ‘mind games’ backfired and insists Frampton and McCarthy were fighting a losing battle trying to get inside his mind.
“I don’t let the mental side of things affect me,” he said. “We were prepared for that and in he came (to the changing room) as expected. It was what it was.
“You’ve got to be prepared for the mind games and stuff like that. I was focused on the fight and it seemed like he was very much focused on the mind games which didn’t work.
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“It’s very hard to get in my head and I don’t believe anyone has succeeded or will succeed (in that). It’s a fight at the end of the day.
“I was ready, I felt really comfortable and I was confident.”
Shane McGuigan said last week that Frampton ended up looking “like an absolute plum” following McCarthy’s defeat to Billam-Smith.
He told the Boxing-UK YouTube channel: “In my opinion, he (Carl) had no right being there.
“He thought Tommy was going to win and he wanted to be on the winning side. It’s a disappointment that he couldn’t just let Tommy have his moment.
Tommy McCarthy and Chris Billam-Smith ahead of their fight at Matchroom HQ
(Image: Leigh Dawney/Getty Images)
“Realistically, it all backfired and he looked like an absolute plum, so the joke’s on him.”
On beating McCarthy in Essex, Billam-Smith said: “I was really pleased with the result and the way I forced the fight, but there are plenty of technical adaptations I need to make.
“I know I’m not the finished product yet. It’s nice being the British, European and Commonwealth champion, but I still have a lot of learning to do.”