Okolie On Billam-Smith: “I Know What This Fight Means To Chris”

Lawrence Okolie vs Chris Billam-Smith Set For May 27

Lawrence Okolie and Chris Billam-Smith promote their May 27 bout
Lawrence Okolie and Chris Billam-Smith promote their May 27 bout

Lawrence Okolie To Fight Sparring Partner Chris Billam-Smith for WBO Title

It’s a quick turnaround for WBO cruiserweight champion Lawrence “The Sauce” Okolie (19-0, 14 KOs). He returns to the ring on May 27 to make the fourth defense of the WBO title against Chris Billam-Smith (17-1, 12 KOs) at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, England. Okolie is fresh off a unanimous decision victory over David Light on March 25.

2022 was a year of transition for defending champion. He parted ways with former promoter Matchroom and signed with BOXXER. The Sauce also changed trainers and is now working with “Sugar” Hill.


A mere seven weeks following his fight against Light, Okolie will face Billam-Smith, a friend and former training partner. At a press conference to announce the match, the challenger told the boxing media he estimates that he and the defending champion have sparred more than three-hundred rounds against one another. Okolie said he’s looking forward to the challenge. For the time being, friendships go out the window.

“As much as we can sit here and be civil and stuff like that, I know what this fight means to Chris. I know what this fight means to myself, and I know what I’m gonna have to put my body through over the next seven weeks.”

To say that this fight is a clash of styles is an understatement. Okolie is a tall, angular fighter who likes to use the jab to fight at a distance. By contrast, Billiam-Smith is a fighter who likes to attack. He lacks the footwork and ability to move like Okolie. On the surface, the key to this contest depends on which fighter can set the tone and impose their style.

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About Mike W.2015 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.