Lawrence Okolie broke away from his faceoff with Chris Billam-Smith pretty quickly again Friday afternoon after the friends and former sparring partners made weight in Bournemouth, England.
There wasn’t any trash talk, pushing or anything else confrontational the day before they’ll fight for Okolie’s cruiserweight championship, either. Okolie and Billam-Smith simply made weight, posed for pictures and went their separate ways.
The 6-foot-5 Okolie stepped on the British Boxing Board of Control’s scale at 199 pounds. The 6-foot-3 Billam-Smith officially came in at exactly the same weight, 199 pounds.
Okolie (19-0, 14 KOs) and Billam-Smith (17-1, 12 KOs) will square off in the main event of Sky Sports’ four-fight telecast Saturday night from a sold-out Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, England, Billam-Smith’s hometown. Billam-Smith is the WBO’s number one contender for Okolie’s cruiserweight title.
Okolie, 30, will make his fourth defense of the WBO cruiserweight championship he won when the 2016 Olympian knocked out Poland’s Krzysztof Glowacki in the sixth round of their March 2021 bout at OVO Arena Wembley in London.
Billam-Smith, 32, has won eight consecutive fights since Richard Riakporhe barely beat Billam-Smith by split decision in their 10-rounder in July 2019 at O2 Arena in London.
Riakporhe (16-0, 12 KOs) is ranked second among the WBO’s contenders for Okolie’s championship, even though the London native out-pointed Billam-Smith. He wants to fight the winner of Okolie-Billam-Smith.
The official weights of the first three fights Sky Sports will air Saturday night are listed below.
7 p.m. BST
Sam Eggington (33-8, 19 KOs), Smethwick, England, 153 pounds vs. Joe Pigford (20-0, 19 KOs), Southampton, England, 153 pounds, 12 rounds, junior middleweights.
Karriss Artingstall (3-0, 0 KOs), Macclesfield, England, 125 pounds vs. Jade Taylor (5-0, 0 KOs), Salford, England, 128 pounds, 8 rounds, featherweights.
Lee Cutler (12-1, 7 KOs), Bournemouth, England, 153 pounds vs. Stanley Stannard (10-0, 4 KOs), Harby, England, 153 pounds, 10 rounds, junior middleweights.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.