Chris Billam Smith plans to join the cruiserweight mix

Chris Billam Smith
Action Images/Andrew Couldridge
Chris Billam Smith, who's sparred both, gives his take on Lawrence Okolie and Isaac Chamberlain

What’s it like to train at Shane McGuigan’s gym?

I’m learning every day, different things all the time. It’s great, a great atmosphere in the gym. It’s obviously great having George Groves in the gym. He’s a world champion, been there, done it.

I haven’t sparred with him since I actually joined but I’ve been a massive fan of George for years so it’s great being in the gym with him. Josh Taylor obviously, he’ll win a world title next year. Lee McGregor now as well. There’s great talent in the gym. Chantelle [Cameron], love watching Chantelle spar and fight as well. She’s an absolute machine. Loving it in the gym and we all get on really well.

Do you think you’ll do a bit of sparring with Groves ahead of the Eubank fight?

I’m probably too big too tall, he’ll probably get other sparring in… I doubt it for this one but hopefully for the Callum Smith one, if Callum Smith comes through then I’ll probably be a sparring partner for that I imagine because we’re quite similar build.

Next year the domestic cruiserweight division is going to get pretty exciting, with Lawrence Okolie and Isaac Chamberlain fighting, do you see yourself getting in that mix?

They’re good lads. I sparred Okolie before and after the Olympics when I was on GB assessments. Chamberlain I sparred as a pro a little bit. They’re good lads, talented lads and I want to get involved in fights like that, especially domestically, because they’re the ones the fans want to see and I want to be in the mix. You’ve got Luke Watkins as well, I’ve sparred him before. He’s obviously Commonwealth champion now. So I was really happy to see him win the Commonwealth title.

I like the way Lawrence goes about his work and Chamberlain. But Lawrence seems to talk the truth, in what I’ve seen. So that’ll be an interesting fight, in February. That’ll be really good.

Chris Billam-Smith

Could you fight Luke Watkins soon?

I’m still doing four rounders, so I’ve got to do my six and eight rounders. I need more experience, who knows, by the time I get there, Luke might have moved on, he might be on to bigger fights. Whoever’s champion at the time, if Cyclone [Promotions] want to take me down that route, go Commonwealth title like they did with Josh [Taylor] then obviously I’d fight Luke. I’ve sparred him before.

I’d be confident fighting any of the domestic lads. I’m not saying that I’ll beat them all, this, that and the other. I just believe in myself, believe in my ability and by the time I get to it I’ll be ready. I’ll be ready to box those guys.

It’s a realistic fight that could happen down the line, if he’s still got the title.

This time next year I want to be boxing some form of title, whatever that may be. Sometimes it’s not the title, it’s the profile, it’s whoever holds the belt at the time.

I want to box in big fights against the best people in the country and then progress from there. It doesn’t matter who it is, if they’re the best in the country then you want to fight them. That’s how I’ve always been as an amateur, I’ve always wanted to box the best.


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