Written by Jonathan Nagioff (@jonathannagioff)
Bournemouth Cruiserweight boxer Chris Billam-Smith has hailed the support of AFC Bournemouth as ‘brilliant’, after he was invited to visit the Vitality Stadium recently.
‘The Gentleman’, who faces former Commonwealth title challenger Robin Dupre at York Hall on Saturday, visited the facilities at the Cherries’ stadium, meeting several first team players and reuniting with manager Eddie Howe.
Billam-Smith (6-0-0), a huge Cherries fan, crossed paths with Howe prior to AFC Bournemouth’s 1-0 defeat to Tottenham at Wembley last season, when the former Poole ABC man was fighting at Wembley Arena on the same evening.
And the 28-year-old was surprised the Cherries boss remembered him.
Billam-Smith exclusively told Nerve Sport: “As a football club they want to be more about football in the area.
“They want to be more about other sports in the area as well which is really good, so I went down there, met some of the players, and met Eddie (Howe) and he remembered me. It was great.
“I actually met him at the Groves versus Cox weigh in on the Friday, because they were playing Tottenham on the Saturday at Wembley and obviously the fight was at Wembley Arena. So I met him then and he remembered me and said he’d been following my career, so it was nice to have a chat with him.”
Billam-Smith is anticipating a large following inside York Hall on Saturday, with over 200 fans expected to make the trip from the South Coast for the crunch clash, with victory likely to set up a Commonwealth title shot.
And the unbeaten Cruiserweight, who has spoken of a dream fight at the Vitality Stadium in the future, has praised the support he has received from Cherries.
He continued: “It’s brilliant. I got to watch a bit of them training and saw the players’ lounge, so it was really nice.
“Great set up, great facilities they’ve got and they’re all really welcoming so that was nice as well.”
Final tickets for Chris Billam-Smith vs Robin Dupre can be purchased from: 07833227040.