Lawrence Okolie tells Chris Billam-Smith ahead of stadium showdown: ‘Dreams don’t always come true’ | boxing news
“Dreams,” Lawrence Okolie tells Chris Billam-Smith, “don’t always come true.”
Okolie comes to Bournemouth to win. He doesn’t care that Billam-Smith is an old friend and former gym classmate.
He doesn’t care that the hopes of the boisterous local crowd on Saturday are invested in Billam-Smith.
He doesn’t care that all Billam-Smith wants is to win a world title with 15,000 fans roaring at him at Vitality Stadium in his hometown, live on Sky sports.
He wants the win and he needs the WBO cruiserweight title belt to stay wrapped around his waist after Saturday night’s fight.
“I have my own dreams and aspirations,” Okolie said sky sports“and Chris is actually on my way.”
His attitude towards Billam-Smith will be no different than any other opponent. “I would argue with my own brother if necessary,” Okolie said. “I fought my brother and I tell you it wasn’t easy.
“I don’t really look at him any different because he’s someone I know or have known. I still have to block punches, slip punches and come back with my own.
“When the bell rings, there’s nothing like it that I know and this, that and the other. It’s just a fight.”
Okolie is a great man to face in the ring. In less than 20 professional contests, he won a world title and defended it three times.
“Not to mention the (British, Commonwealth, European titles). And not to mention I’ve only had 20 amateur fights,” he said.
“So I had less than 50 fights and became European (amateur) champion and Olympic, British, Commonwealth, European and World champion.
“Against guys,” he added, “who have had quite the experience and anytime my character has shown up, so this is another opportunity for my character to show up.
“For me, that’s just another tick on the checklist, boxing a fighter in his hometown and I’m obviously the champion but the fighter on the outside in theory.
“I’m looking forward to what’s to come.”
Billam-Smith warned that Okolie would be shocked by his power. But the champion is adamant that ‘talking is cheap but I’m the toughest, no matter how you want to see it, I punch harder than him’.
He’s not convinced that Billam-Smith will be strong enough to take his punches.
“No. I don’t think anyone really is,” Okolie said. “These guys have all tried but they either get hurt or get discouraged or they get tired. I think all three are going to happen to Chris in this fight.
“I think all three will happen.
“If he comes the way I expect him to come, which is to fight, then yes, I expect to knock him out. Because the more you look for him, the more opportunities arise. present for someone else, someone like me.
“But we will see.
Don’t miss Lawrence Okolie vs. Chris Billam-Smith live Sky Sports Action And sky showcase from 7 p.m. on Saturday evening.