Chris Billam-Smith: Lawrence Okolie will not be used to getting hit – for him panic will set in on Saturday night time | Boxing Information
Lawrence Okolie has a rematch clause for Saturday’s WBO cruiserweight title defence, however Chris Billam-Smith is not satisfied his opponent will need to use it after their combat on the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth.
Billam-Smith believes his personal under-appreciated punch energy will likely be “the most important shock” to Okolie.
A hometown hero in Bournemouth, Billam-Smith has been working with a brand new energy and conditioning coach because the finish of final 12 months – in addition to high coach Shane McGuigan, who can also be Okolie’s former coach.
He’s promising to ship one thing Okolie hasn’t skilled earlier than after they combat, reside on Sky Sports activities this Saturday.
Billam-Smith maintains the blistering knockout end he secured in his final combat must be a warning signal for Okolie.
“Lawrence is clearly a really huge one-punch puncher, however if you happen to take a look at my final combat it exhibits that I can punch,” Billam-Smith advised Sky Sports activities.
“He would possibly assume that is simply me saying it. However he is additionally not used to getting hit so it is virtually like a double impact. When you get hit and you understand how to cope with that, panic would not set in. I believe for him panic will set in on Saturday night time.
“Any combat towards Lawrence is harmful as a result of he can punch and he is acquired lengthy levers so it’s important to take educated dangers and you have to actually work laborious to get the pictures off it is advisable do. That is what we have been doing the entire time.”
He added: “I do not count on him to face there and commerce with me. He is aware of he cannot do this. I think about he will be making an attempt to maintain it lengthy and transfer his ft.
“The laborious factor with Lawrence is getting in place. So we all know what we have to do.”
They sparred lots of of rounds collectively after they have been gym-mates, however Billam-Smith is adamant that Okolie cannot take an excessive amount of from that previous expertise.
“It may be very completely different than 16 or 18 ounce gloves to 10 ounce [competition] gloves,” he mentioned.
“He by no means buzzed me with 18 ounce gloves on however you have acquired a head guard and 18 ounce gloves on. It isn’t like [I can think] ‘he by no means buzzed me so I can simply go in there and take his pictures’.
“I’ve acquired to remain concentrated. It isn’t simply getting in there, simply going hell for leather-based. That is not how this sport works on the high stage. It is acquired to be focus the entire time and focus. That is how the job will get completed.”
Their previous means they do have historical past. However any friendship between them is on maintain not less than till after the combat.
There have already been jibes from Okolie saying that Billam-Smith was all the time McGuigan’s “favorite” within the health club and he additionally identified that he by no means acquired an invite to Billam-Smith’s wedding ceremony.
“There was lots of people on the record earlier than Lawrence,” Billam-Smith mentioned bluntly of ‘wedding-gate,’ including, “I used to be within the health club longest. I believe that is why I used to be Shane’s favorite.”
That uncommon pre-fight rigidity provides to the event for Billam-Smith.
“It is acquired all of the substances to be a very particular night time. Every little thing from it being two Brits for a world title, for me being within the stadium. But in addition being previous gym-mates, previous coach and so forth. There’s an actual story to it for me and I simply thrive off of that and let that gasoline me,” he mentioned.
“It has been a very satisfying construct up, for myself anyway and I believe the followers have loved it as effectively. It is very straightforward to get caught up in faux beef on this trade. The ‘beef’ you see between us is actual. Something I’ve mentioned is both a tongue in cheek remark or has acquired a base of fact in it. I am by no means simply slagging him off for the sake of it. Whereas that occurs loads on this sport.
“I believe we’ll shake fingers after the combat. Hopefully he’ll be in an okay temper regardless that he is been beat.”
Successful might imply Billam-Smith must combat him over again. “He requested for a rematch clause. He is acquired a rematch clause. We’ll see if he needs it after Saturday night time,” he revealed.
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“He would possibly blame the burden, he would possibly need to go as much as heavyweight. I believe he is a aggressive man. I believe he’ll need the rematch.”
This combat although would be the defining second for Billam-Smith.
“It may be close to on inconceivable to high this in my profession, successful on Saturday night time,” he mentioned.
“I am leaving completely every part within the ring.”
Don’t miss Lawrence Okolie vs Chris Billam-Smith live on Sky Sports Action and Sky Showcase from 7pm on Saturday night.