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    26 May 2023

    Analyzing Lawrence Okolie and Chris Billam-Smith ahead of their world title fight in Bournemouth – Insights from George Groves

    The Battle for Cruiserweight Supremacy:

    Lawrence Okolie may hold the power and knowledge of a world champion, but he is up against one of Britain’s most improved fighters in Chris Billam-Smith, according to former world champion George Groves.

    The two long-time training partners will finally face each other on Saturday night when Okolie defends his WBC cruiserweight title against domestic rival Billam-Smith in Bournemouth. 

    This fight comes just two months after Okolie returned to the ring following a year-long break from boxing. In this time, he has managed to maintain an unbeaten record with a unanimous decision victory over David Light. Although it was not the knockout spectacle fans were hoping for, it gave everyone another glimpse into what makes Okolie such a tricky opponent inside the ring.

    “His Equaliser Punch Power Is Tremendous”:

    “He’s very effective at what he does,” says George Groves about Lawrence Okolie. “He’s got tremendous punch power, equaliser punch power but he’s also very strong.”

    Groves goes on to explain that people are afraid to be caught at the end of his punches because that is where he delivers his best shots – at long range- making it difficult for opponents to get close enough without being hit hard. Even if they do manage it there is still danger as ‘you can’t underestimate how strong Lawrence Okolie is on the inside,’ adds Groves.

    In his last fight with David Light, who gave away height and reach advantage which he possessed, Okolie’s inside strength was on full display. Groves does mention that there is room for improvement in this aspect, but given his current proficiency, it still makes him a hard man to beat.

    The Most Improved Fighter in Britain:

    Chris Billam-Smith has been one of the most improved fighters in Britain over the last few years and has risen to every challenge placed before him. Despite having weathered some storms and having a loss to Riakporhe, Billam-Smith has become a much more complete fighter now says George Groves.

    Groves also explains that staying switched on for an entire fight requires conditioning and determination which both fighters have exhibited in their previous bouts.’What Chris has in his locker is where he had to work hard for his supper in earlier fights. He’s had to dig deep and smudge out a performance at times – something he definitely didn’t lack when delivering an emphatic reply against Armend Xhoxhaj back in December.’

    This highly-anticipated bout will feature two formidable opponents who possess different fighting styles but share similar traits of strength and endurance with each other. It promises not just excitement but also unpredictability as both men battle it out for cruiserweight supremacy.

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