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.