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Chris Billam-Smith eyeing Sergey Kovalev fight next, then challenge for world title Jai Opetaia | Boxing News


Chris Billam-Smith is adamant that he is now ready to take on the world stage.

Bournemouth’s heavy cruiser defended its European title in a 12-round clash with Isaac Chamberlain in July.

He is now targeting the top boxer in the tournament, Jai Opetaia, who defeated Mairis Briedis to win the IBF title earlier this year.

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Billam-Smith beat Chamberlain in their battle for the European Championship

Opetaia has recovered from the jaw fractures he suffered in that bout but Billam-Smith hopes a world championship challenge against the Australian can be made in May next year.

Before that, though, he plans to box it up again before the year is out. “After the last performance, I don’t think we could have fought anywhere other than Bournemouth,” said Billam-Smith. Sports sky. “I think that’s the plan and that’s what we’re trying to do next.

“Everybody loved it, great experience, a lot of people thought it was their first boxing match because obviously, they’re from Bournemouth there aren’t many people here.

“Hopefully we can continue that and always deliver good nights here and great atmosphere. But it’s incredible to have support from the entire town.”

The home audience is very important to him. It even proved to be crucial in his grueling wits with Chamberlain.

LUSTIG PIC LAW.
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Now the Bournemouth man wants to try his hand at the next level

“The crowd was behind me the whole time, it was unbelievable and I guess that’s what kept me motivated and kept working even though I was so tired,” he said.

Billam-Smith knew the Londoners would be a tough opponent. “He dislocated his shoulder in front of (Wadi) Camacho, and he got through that. He went 10 rounds with Lawrence (Okolie) and he also dropped. So the people hit by Lawrence. falls often doesn’t see the final bell, and he made it through,” Billam-Smith said.

“So I know well how hard it was for him and obviously a big chance for him that he won’t lie down. So I know it’s always going to be a tough night but I just need to keep hitting speed because I always say that’s my best attribute, work rate and variety of shots and using such a bullying tactic in it.”

Billam-Smith needs to test if his skills can take him to world level. He wants a rematch in December, against a seasoned opponent of his caliber.

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Billam-Smith believes he broke Chamberlain’s heart during their epic 12-round battle in Bournemouth

“Obviously coming from light-heavyweight but (Sergey) Kovalev got a good win against Tervel Pulev,” he suggested. “Maybe it’s an opportunity.”

Badou Jack is another name he’s aiming for. “I think now I need to take that next step to become an experienced professional,” he said. “If I end up fighting Jai Opetaia, [he could potentially fight] a Southpaw, if we’re considering that…. Or just a seasoned orthodox boxer who was there and made it.

“We’ll be looking at Opetaia maybe next May, it’s an uphill fight for sure. He’s a super good operator and now he’s proven himself to be number one by hitting Defeat number one at Briedis I believe Lawrence will probably be number one but [Opetaia] obviously holding that at the moment because he’s had battles and been given the chance to prove it.

“But it was an excellent battle and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”





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