Lawrence Okolie will make a quick turnaround for his next title defense, as Boxxer have announced that Okolie will defend his WBO cruiserweight title against Chris Billam-Smith on May 27 in Bournemouth.
The location means that Billam-Smith (17-1, 12 KO) will have home field advantage for his first crack at a world title, with the show set to be held at Vitality Stadium, aka Dean Court, the home ground of AFC Bournemouth. The city’s International Centre has been a great, lively host for Billam-Smith’s last two fights, and Vitality Stadium should be rocking, too.
Okolie (19-0, 14 KO) just fought on Mar. 25 in Manchester, beating David Light over 12 rounds to retain his title in a third successful defense.
The Okolie vs Light show was picked up in the U.S. by ProBox TV. For now, all we know broadcast-wise is that Okolie vs Billam-Smith will air on Sky Sports in the United Kingdom.
The show is also set to feature a British cruiserweight title fight between champion Mikael Lawal (17-0, 11 KO) and challenger Isaac Chamberlain (14-2, 8 KO), whose two losses are to Okolie and Billam-Smith.
One wrinkle for home viewers is that Okolie vs Billam-Smith will be going head-to-head against the rematch between Mauricio Lara and Leigh Wood on DAZN, and the BT Sport/ESPN+ show featuring Luis Alberto Lopez vs Michael Conlan, and I personally think it’s good that the U.K. promoters are all getting just as obnoxious toward their fan base as American promoters have been for so long.
'No one has ever hit Lawrence clean!' @ChrisBillam is fired up & ready to snatch the world title— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) April 4, 2023
May 27 | #OkolieBillamSmith pic.twitter.com/EoNHQHo6Ov