Exclusive: Chris Billam-Smith keeping a close eye on Lawrence Okolie

Chris Billam-Smith

Bournemouth cruiserweight Chris Billam-Smith says he will be watching with interest as Lawrence Okolie steps into the ring on Saturday night.

British champion, Okolie (10-0-0) faces Hungarian Tamas Lodi at the O2 arena. While his Lonsdale belt is not on the line, he will be defending his WBA Continental (Europe) title.

And despite Billam-Smith (8-0-0) expecting Okolie to move on past British level, he insists he’ll be keeping a close on his rival.

Billam-Smith exclusively told Nerve Sport: “Yeah, I’m always watching everyone in the division who I can, so I’ll be watching that fight.

“I believe he’s looking further afield beyond British now, which is fair enough, he’s won the British title, it’s what most people would do but yeah that’ll be a fight that I’ll be watching.

“There’ll be a lot of changes I think in the next 12 months in the cruiserweight scene worldwide obviously but also domestically.”

Nerve Sport understands the former Poole ABC puncher sat down with his team this week to consider fight options for 2019, as they plot a route to a title fight.

‘The Gentleman’ had four successive victories in 2018, his last a stoppage win over Kent Kauppinen at Boscombe’s O2 academy in December.

He has been ordered to face Southern Area holder Dieon Jumah, whilst Commonwealth champion Wadi Camacho remains the number one target.

“I haven’t got any news yet,” Billam-Smith added.

“There’s obviously a few opportunities out there at the moment.

“The Camacho fight is the one I’ve wanted for a while for the Commonwealth title, but then I’ve been ordered to fight Deion Jumah for the English title which is a great fight and a chance to get revenge because he beat me in the amateurs.

“He beat me in the semi-finals of the ABA seven years ago now, so there’s that fight, there’s plenty of other fights out there as well.”

One of those fights features Okolie tomorrow night as he takes on Lodi at the O2.

The fight will be on the undercard of Sergio Garcia vs Ted Cheeseman, and ‘The Gentleman’ will be watching closely.

Written by Jonathan Nagioff (@JonathanNagioff)