Former Stablemates Lawrence Okolie And Chris Billam-Smith Set For Bournemouth Stadium Fight
Chris Billam-Smith (17-1 12KOs) has finally landed his dream fight at the 11,000-capacity Vitality Stadium, in Bournemouth but it’s not the opponent he probably expected.
“CBS” is set to challenge for the WBO Cruiserweight Championship against his former stable mate unbeaten Brit, Lawrence Okolie (19-0, 14 KOs). The bout is expected to headline a Ben Shalom/BOXXER promotion on Saturday 27th May, live on Sky Sports.
Billam-Smith has made huge strides in his professional career. With not much hope for the Bournemouth fan favourite after losing to Richard Riakporhe in 2019, he has bounced back impeccably, winning the British, Commonwealth, and European titles, headlining 2 shows in his hometown along the way to establishing himself as a top 10 cruiserweight in the world.
Okolie vs Billam-Smith clashes with Michael Conlan‘s world title challenge against Mexico’s Luis Alberto Lopez at The SSE Arena in Conlan’s hometown of Belfast, live on BT Sport in the UK. Matchroom/DAZN are also planning a card on this day expected to be headlined by a world title fight at Featherweight which pits either Leigh Wood or Josh Warrington against WBA champion Mauricio Lara.
Cruiserweight has been in somewhat of a limbo since the departure of former undisputed champion Oleksandr Usyk. The last four years have been difficult for the division with vacant titles, controversial knockouts, legal battles over contractual status, sanctioned fights against super middleweights, and Super Mario YouTube callouts dominating the conversation instead of unifications but 2023 could finally be the year that changes.