Lawrence Okolie Sees No Way for Chris Billam-Smith to Overcome Him
Next up for WBO cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie (19-0, 14 KOs) is a May 27 battle against countryman Chris Billam-Smith (17-1, 12 KOs). The defending champion is promising an eye-opening performance.
It’s a quick turnaround for Okolie. His previous outing was a unanimous decision win over Chris Light on March 25. Not happy with his performance against Light, Okolie jumped at the opportunity to return to the ring so soon.
FRIENDSHIPS SET ASIDE
In Billam-Smith, the defending champion will face a challenger who he’s familiar with. Okolie and Smith were former stablemates and have sparred numerous rounds against each other. Speaking to media outlet Seconds Out, Okolie said he’s taking an all-business approach.
“We’ve got a job to do. So I’m just going to do my job to the best of my ability.”
Part of the pre-fight build-up has been about accusations of a mole. Okolie has accused Team Billam-Smith of planting a mole in his training camp. The challenger has called those claims rubbish. There’s not a bit of added tension between the former mates.
WHAT’S POTENTIALLY AT STAKE
In December 2022, Okolie left Matchroom and signed a multi-fight deal with Boxxer. The promotional outlet has big plans for the 30-year-old. They could include a domestic showdown with bitter rival Richard Riakpohre, or a possible unification fight with IBF champion Jai Opetaia. But first, he must overcome Chris Billam-Smith. Okolie is confident he will do just that.
“If he comes out and tries to have an actual tear up, then definitely I’ll get a good knockout . . . I just know I’m gonna win the fight. Whether it’s through being more conditioned, being smarter, getting off the power shot, whatever, I’m gonna win this fight because I can’t see any eventuality where I lose.”
Be the first to comment