Chris Billam-Smith is one of British boxing’s greatest success stories of recent times.
‘The Gentleman’ pulled off an upset win to put an end to Lawrence Okolie’s reign as the WBO cruiserweight champion back in May, dropping the 30-year-old on three occasions and taking a majority-decision win with the aid of Okolie’s two points deductions for holding during the fight.
Okolie has since activated his rematch clause, with the goal of reclaiming the belt from his former stablemate and sparring partner. No date has been announced for the fight, nor has it been confirmed that it’s next for either man.
In an interview with Boxing Social, Billam-Smith claimed that despite the activation for the second fight broadcasters are reluctant for Okolie to headline a card due to his negative fighting style.
“He’s [Okolie] obviously activated it [the rematch clause], so I was half-expecting it to be at the end of November, that’s when we said we would like to fight and that has always been the plan. So, I’m just waiting to hear really, I think it will be him or [Mateusz] Masternak.”
“The only reason that it won’t be Lawrence is down to issues with broadcasters not wanting to headline with him, for obvious reasons. I’m ready to go at the end of November.”
Both men are currently promoted by BOXXER, which partners with Sky Sports in the UK.
If the rematch doesn’t play out, Okolie may be tempted to make his long-discussed move to the heavyweight division.