Cruiserweight Chris Billam-Smith (17-1) has secured a homecoming and stadium fight at Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth, on May 27th. The Vitality Stadium, the home of premier league football team AFC Bournemouth, holds 15,000 spectators and ticks the box for Billam-Smith, a lifelong club supporter. Speaking exclusively to ProBox TV, Chris couldn't hide his excitement at the announcement.
No opponent has been announced at the time of publication, with a press conference scheduled for March 27th with the promoter, Ben Shalom, set to announce further details regarding an opponent for Billam-Smith. However, it is believed that negotiations are currently ongoing to secure WBA world cruiserweight champion, Arsen Goulamirian (27-0), to come to Bournemouth to mark a rapid rise for Billam-Smith to world title contention. The 35-year-old Frenchman has held the WBA since 2019 however has been incredibly inactive, having only returned to the ring in November of 2022 (since December 2019) against Aleksei Egorov. Goulamirian made the successful defence in Le Canet, France, claiming a unanimous decision.
Billam-Smith is arguably one of the inform cruiserweights in the world and is unbeaten in eight fights following his 2019 defeat to Richard Riakphore. Victories over Isaac Chamberlain & Tommy McCarthy (x2) have seen Chris collect British, Commonwealth and European title success and achieve ratings across the world governing bodies. Ratings of number six with the WBC, number two with both WBA & WBO and number three with the IBF justify Billam-Smith's standing at the top table in the cruiserweight division.
Ultimately Chris, who enjoyed a significant return to Bournemouth last July with a victory over Isaac Chamberlain, can't wait for his opponent to be announced due to his excitement about the prospect at the stadium of the club he supports.
It has also been confirmed that cruiserweights Mikael Lawal & Isaac Chamberlain will face off on the bill as chief support in Bournemouth. Lawal (17-0) is defending his British cruiserweight title for the first time following his stoppage victory against David Jamieson in November last year. Chamberlain (14-2) will return to the ring against Lawal for the first time after suffering defeat against Billam-Smith in July of 2022.