Lawrence Okolie has declared he’s prepared to journey to Bournemouth to battle Chris Billam-Smith in his hometown’s soccer stadium on Might 27.
World champions don’t usually name out potential challengers, however Okolie, the WBO cruiserweight titlist, has publicly thrown down the gauntlet to his British rival.
Billam-Smith has a date set for his subsequent battle, Might 27, and the 15,000-seat capability Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth booked however his opponent is but to be confirmed.
Though Okolie solely fought on Saturday, dominating David Gentle to take a unanimous choice on the Manchester Enviornment, he’s prepared to field Billam-Smith in two months’ time.
“I received out the ring after 12 rounds, I have been out of the ring for a yr,” Okolie instructed Sky Sports activities. “I am nonetheless sore. However that stadium battle’s there. Are you up for it? Completely, I’ll come to Bournemouth, carry my world title down.”
He factors out he’s providing Billam-Smith, a former gym-mate and sparring accomplice, an “superb alternative to field in his hometown, with tens of 1000’s of followers, for a world title”, and Okolie would take “an enormous deduction at my finish. Large. Simply that can assist you with the chance”.
“In terms of truly saying sure to a battle, I am up for it,” he continued.
“To field in another person’s hometown, give them their dream evening and I am nonetheless ready for a sure. Is not that weird to you?
“I am up for it. We’ll discover out. I used to be ‘susceptible’ in my final battle. Was it ringrust? Am I simply [bad]? We’ll have to attend and see for Might, in the event that they take it.
“It is weird. ‘He is garbage, he is boring…’ Then expose me. Expose me and say sure. All I ever hear is quickly and blah, blah, blah. I do not know what everybody’s ready for.”
Okolie has opened the door for his British rivals to get the battle with him. London’s Richard Riakporhe could be one other interesting challenger.
“Chris Billam[-Smith], British, Commonwealth and European [titles], he is performed the steps. Riakporhe [has] profile versus truly performed something within the final little interval. So these fights have worth in that manner,” Okolie mentioned.
“However by way of precise legacy, boxing unifications at all times supersede British home battle.”
Okolie although would put his personal ambitions of unifying world titles on maintain to make the fights with Billam-Smith or Riakporhe, “for me to only present individuals it isn’t shut between me and these guys. However solely time will inform.”
“I am simply fully flabbergasted by all these guys, why somebody would not say, ‘Sure, subsequent, he is [rubbish] I will [mess] him up.’ Why is nobody saying that?
“I can not think about being a 32-year-old, 33-year-old, with all this ambition, a couple of years left in boxing, you have received a champion in your nation that is saying you do not even should be necessary.
“You do not even should be necessary. You are a troublesome battle however I will nonetheless take it. Let’s do it. And also you’re ‘umming and ahhing’.
“What’s going on?”
Let’s do that!
Billam-Smith responded publicly as quickly as he noticed Okolie’s problem. He welcomed the battle.
On social media, Billam-Smith acknowledged: “No umming and ahhing from me mate. Let’s do that.”