– Lawrence Okolie Defends His World Cruiserweight Title Against Ex-Gym Mate Chris Billam-Smith
– Okolie vs Billam-Smith Expecting 15k Crowd At Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium
– Sam Eggington, Karriss Artingstall And More Feature On Okolie vs Billam-Smith Undercard
Chris Billam-Smith (17-1 12KOs) challenges for the WBO Cruiserweight Championship against his former stable mate unbeaten Brit, Lawrence Okolie (19-0, 14 KOs) this Saturday, May 27th at the 15,000-capacity Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth live on Sky Sports.
Okolie captured British, Commonwealth and European titles within two and a half years of turning professional before a dominant display against Poland’s Krzysztof Glowacki to win the WBO world title in March 2021.
The Brit has made three defences of his title since including a third-round KO of unheralded Dilan Prasovic, an unimpressive points win over popular Michal Cieslak at the O2 last February and a laboured decision win over David Light this March.
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, also winning the British, Commonwealth, and European titles, and headlining 2 shows in his hometown along the way to establishing himself as a top 10 cruiserweight in the world.
CBS wanted a world title stadium fight, Okolie craved a big domestic, and the latter had left Shane McGuigan – the fight that neither man thought would ever happen became the obvious fight to make.
The hometown hero goes in as a big underdog but trainer McGuigan who coached Okolie to all his successes is confident he can come up with a game plan to beat his old charge.
Okolie vs Billam-Smith Undercard
Sam Eggington (33-9, 19 KO’s) has built up a reputation as one of Britain’s most all-action fighters, with a no-nonsense fighting style which enthrals fans and produces highlight moment after highlight moment.
Eggington lays a viable claim to being “Britain’s most exciting fighter”. For evidence, look no further than his 2021 bout with Bilel Jkitou, which was declared ‘Fight of the Year’ by the British Boxing Board of Control.
Standing opposite him on May 27th is perhaps the most proven fight-finisher in British boxing today, power-puncher Joe Pigford (20-0, 19 KO’s). With 19 of his wins by KO or TKO, the Southampton slugger has a finish rate of 95% in his victories, a rate unmatched by any British boxer at his weight.
2020 Olympic gold medallist Karriss Artingstall (3-0) made her professional debut in June 2022 and returns to the ring on May 27 for what will be her fourth contest in her first year as a pro.
She faces the undefeated Jade ‘Blade’ Taylor (5-0), a Manchester stablemate of Michael Gomez Jr. Both Artingstall and Taylor going into their bout off the back of respective wins over Bolton veteran Linzi Buczynskyj in their last fights and both are looking for a statement win on the south coast.
And another huge domestic tussle has been added to what promises to be a blockbuster night of elite boxing on the South Coast as local lad Lee Cutler (12-1-0, 7 KOs) challenges Stanley Stannard (10-0, 4 KOs) in an English Super-Welterweight Championship Eliminator.
Cutler has fought in front of his home fans twice before with BOXXER, beating both Joel Julio and Meshack Mwankemwa on points over six rounds last year – but the Bournemouth boy will face a tough opponent in undefeated southpaw Stannard, who will be determined to cause a big upset.
Two young standouts from the south coast joining the card are Bournemouth’s own Mace Ruegg (8-0) against Dean Dodge (9-3-1, 3 KO’s) and Southampton’s Lewis Edmondson (6-0, 3 KOs) against Petar Nosic (8-1, 4 KOs).
Tommy Welch and Michael McKinson are back in action against Amine Boucetta and Lebin Morales respectively.
Alireza Ghadiri, better known as Razor Ali, opens the night against Jonatas Rodrigo Gomes de Oliveira.
Okolie vs Billam-Smith UK Time, Ticket Information, And Ring Walk Times
A 9-fight card is scheduled to begin at 5:00 pm BST (12:00 pm ET, 9:00 am PT) on the Sky Sports Boxing YouTube channels with the main card a little while later at 7 pm BST (2 pm ET, 11 am PT) live on Sky Sports Action in the UK and FITE + in select int markets including the US.
Main Event Ring Walks will occur at approximately 10:00 pm BST (5:00 pm ET, 2:00 pm PT). Stay tuned to NoSmokeSport.com for more details about the running order, and fight week updates as they happen. Tickets for this event are still available to purchase.
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Lawrence Okolie vs Chris Billam-Smith – WBO World Cruiserweight Title – Sat, May 27– Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth – Live On Sky Sports