Written by Jonathan Nagioff (@JonathanNagioff)
Chris Billam-Smith has thanked the travelling Bournemouth fans who watched him record a fifth round stoppage win over Robin Dupre on Saturday night at York Hall.
Billam-Smith (7-0-0) is now the mandatory challenger for the Commonwealth belt and will face the winner of the vacant title clash between Wadi Camacho and Arfan Iqbal at some point in the new year.
Nerve Sport understands that the Bournemouth fighter is likely to have a tick over fight in December, in the lead up to a first title showdown.
And the former Poole ABC prodigy was grateful for the support he received in London on Saturday.
When asked what he made of the crowd willing him on inside York Hall, Billam-Smith exclusively told Nerve Sport: “Unbelievable.
“I sold over 160 tickets in the end and I only do a few more than that back home so a lot of people were in London that have come from my dad’s work and my brother’s work.
“Family and friends that I’ve got up here as well, but at least 100 of them have travelled up from Bournemouth so a massive thank you to all them, it’s absolutely overwhelming to get that sort of support so far from home.”
The Gentleman put on a brutal punching display and the relentless onslaught forced Dupre to quit at the end of the fifth round.
Dupre, a former Commonwealth title challenger, himself hung in there amid the punishment and posed Billam-Smith some questions.
And The Gentleman has heaped praise on his opponent, whilst insisting he is ready to challenge for titles next year.
He continued: “I know I’m ready for those fights I just didn’t show it tonight.
“You’ve got to give Robin Dupre his due, he made it awkward and he was fiddly, and he showed that before against Luke Watkins and obviously were the only two to beat him.
“So all credit to him for making it an awkward contest.
“Next year I want the Commonwealth title, one step at a time but then we’ll see what doors open from there.
“I’ve just got to keep improving, keep enjoying myself being up in McGuigan’s Gym and with the whole Cyclones team and obviously titles next year is number one.”