The World Boxing Organization (WBO) Cruiserweight Champion, Englishman Lawrence Okolie will display his crown in front of local hero Chris Billam-Smith, in a star-studded fight that will take place this Saturday at the Vitality Stadium in AFC Bournemouth, Dorset, UK.
The fight will be organized by Boxxer and broadcast on SKY in the UK.
This Friday, the official weight for this battle was set at 200 pounds. With much respect, Okolie and Billam-Smith climbed the stairs, complied, and moved on to the photo session without wavering, shouting all within the framework of a big heart. Okolie, 6.5 feet tall, checked in at 199 pounds, while Billam-Smith (6.3 feet) stopped the pendulum at the same weight of 199 pounds.
Okolie (19-0, 14 KOs) and Billam-Smith (17-1, 12 KOs) square off in the main event of the Sky Sports four-fight broadcast this Saturday night from the sold-out Vitality stadium in Bournemouth. England, Billam-Smith’s home country, is one of the WBO contenders for Okolie’s cruiserweight title.
For Okolie, this will be the fourth defense of the cruiserweight title, and the second in just two months, since he defeated New Zealand’s David Lumen by unanimous decision on March 25. Before this fight, Okolie was resting for more than one year, and therefore this Saturday in his role he will try to show that he will return to his usual level of competition.
Okolie won the vacant WBO cruiserweight title in March 2021, knocking out Krzysztof Glowacki in six rounds. His first defense was against Dilan Prasovic, knocking him out in three rounds, then he clashed with Michal Cieslak, in February 2012.
It means that Okolie did not win by knockout because he moved up to Prasovic. But he intends to show the kind of heavy punches with his hands that have stopped him from beating former European, Commonwealth and world champions in a seven-fight hitting streak that took him from the British championship to his WBO crown.
“The way Chris fights, it’s always all action. He’s going to throw a lot of punches, put a lot of pressure where the local fighter is, he’s going to have 15,000 people screaming at him, hoping he can knock me out,” Okolie said. “So I will have to waste and it will be very easy for me.”
Since losing the undefeated in July 2019, in front of Richard Riakporhe, Billam-Smith has a streak of eight consecutive victories, with the last victory last December, when Kosové knocked out Armend Xhoxhaj in five rounds.
There is no doubt that Billam-Smith was very excited this Saturday. This is the world title opportunity he wants, and he will fight as furiously as ever to claim the WBO cruiserweight crown.
Weight Dorset, UK
Lawrence Okolie 199 pounds, Chris Billam-Smith 199
WBO Cruiserweight Championship
Sam Eggington 153, Joe Pigford 153
Karriss Artingstall 125, Jade Taylor 128
Lee Cutler 153. Stanley Stannard 153
Home: AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium, in Dorset, UK.