Former teammates turned world title rivals Lawrence Okolie and Chris Billam-Smith faced off in Bournemouth today ahead of this Saturday’s WBO cruiserweight championship showdown at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, England. The fight can be seen on FITE+ in the US and SkySports in the UK.
Lawrence Okolie: “I’m coming to make an extremely big statement. I’m my own man on my own journey and there’s stuff that I want and need and I’m ready to fight for it. I’ve shown time and time again I’m ready to take the risk and do what needs to be done. I can say I’m in amazing shape and I’m coming to do a job. The way Chris fights, he’s always all action. He comes to throw a lot of punches, put a lot of pressure on where he’s the home fighter, he’s going to have 15,000 people screaming for him, hoping that he can dethrone me. So I’m going to have to be devastating and he’s going to make it very easy for me.”
Chris Billam-Smith: “Any fight against Lawrence is dangerous because he can punch and he’s got long levers so you have to take educated risks and you’ve got to really work hard to get the shots off you need to do. That’s what we’ve been doing the whole time. I don’t expect him to stand there and trade with me. He knows he can’t do that. I imagine he’s going to be trying to keep it long and move his feet. The hard thing with Lawrence is getting in position. So we know what we’ve got to do.”