Extra tickets have been added for Lawrence Okolie’s (19-0, 14 KOs) WBO world cruiserweight title defence against hometown hero Chris Billam-Smith (17-1-0, 12 KOs) at AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium on Saturday, May 27 due to incredible demand.
British fight fans have blitzed the pre-sale and general sale consignment, snapping up thousands of tickets and guaranteeing a sell-out for the mammoth, all-British showdown which kickstarts a sizzling summer for BOXXER as it presents its first-ever UK stadium show.
The marquee main event sits atop an action-packed undercard strengthened today by newly-announced bouts which will excite the interest of fans all over the UK and beyond, including a clash which has high ‘Fight of the Year’ contender potential.
Sam Eggington (33-9, 19 KO’s) has built up a reputation as one of Britain’s most all-action fighters, with a no-nonsense fighting style which enthrals fans and produces highlight moment after highlight moment.
Eggington lays a viable claim to being “Britain’s most exciting fighter”. For evidence, look no further than his 2021 bout with Bilel Jkitou, which was declared ‘Fight of the Year’ by the British Boxing Board of Control.
Standing opposite him on May 27th is perhaps the most proven fight-finisher in British boxing today, power-puncher Joe Pigford (20-0, 19 KO’s). With 19 of his wins by KO or TKO, the Southampton slugger has a finish rate of 95% in his victories, a rate unmatched by any British boxer at his weight.
2020 Olympic gold medallist Karriss Artingstall (3-0) made her professional debut in June 2022 and returns to the ring on May 27 for what will be her fourth contest in her first year as a pro.
She faces the undefeated Jade ‘Blade’ Taylor (5-0), a Manchester stablemate of Michael Gomez Jr. Both Artingstall and Taylor going into their bout off the back of respective wins over Bolton veteran Linzi Buczynskyj in their last fights and both are looking for a statement win on the south coast.
And another huge domestic tussle has been added to what promises to be a blockbuster night of elite boxing on the South Coast as local lad Lee Cutler (12-1-0, 7 KOs) challenges Stanley Stannard (10-0, 4 KOs) in an English Super-Welterweight Championship Eliminator.
Cutler has fought in front of his home fans twice before with BOXXER, beating both Joel Julio and Meshack Mwankemwa on points over six rounds last year – but the Bournemouth boy will face a tough opponent in undefeated southpaw Stannard, who will be determined to cause a big upset.
An intense rivalry awaits in the form of the co-main event where Mikael Lawal (17-0, 11 KOs) defends his British Cruiserweight Championship against Isaac Chamberlain (14-2-0, 8 KOs).
The bitter enemies had to be forced apart during a tense exchange at the launch press conference earlier this week – and fans can expect fireworks when the two finally stand toe-to-toe next month, live and exclusively in the UK & Republic of Ireland on Sky Sports.
Emerging heavyweight prospect Tommy Welch (10-0, 6 KOs) will also be in action on May 27.
Unbeaten, Brighton-based Welch is expected to have a strong following in attendance at the Premier League football stadium, where he will be determined to add another knockout to his burgeoning highlight reel.
Two young standouts from the south coast joining the card are Bournemouth’s own Mace Ruegg (8-0) against Dean Dodge (9-3-1, 3 KO’s) and Southampton’s Lewis Edmondson (6-0, 3 KOs) against Vladimir Belujski (13-6-1, 9 KO’s), both of whom will have a lot of support in the stadium on fight night as they look for showcase performances against their soon-to-be-announced opponents.
BOXXER CEO & Founder, Ben Shalom, said: “Chris Billam-Smith challenging Lawrence Okolie for the world title is the hottest ticket in town for this summer in Bournemouth and we’re expecting a complete sellout once again.
“The atmosphere at our Bournemouth events has been absolutely unbelievable and I think you’re going to see that taken to new heights at the Vitality Stadium in May.
“A special thanks goes to Joe Ashford-Ellis, Who Dares Gyms and AFC Bournemouth. I guarantee that this is going to be one of the best British boxing events of the year.”
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This event will be presented in association with official partners Everlast, WOW HYDRATE, Village Hotels and Who Dares Gyms.
MAY 27 CARD – more fights to be added
12 x 3 mins WBO World Cruiserweight Championship
Lawrence Okolie vs Chris Billam-Smith
12 x 3 mins British Cruiserweight Championship
Mikael Lawal vs Isaac Chamberlain
8/10 x 3 mins Super-Welterweight Contest
Sam Eggington vs Joe Pigford
10 x 3 mins English Super-Welterweight Championship Eliminator
Lee Cutler vs Stanley Stannard
6/8 x 2 mins Lightweight Contest
Karriss Artingstall vs Jade Taylor
6 x 3 mins Super-Featherweight Contest
Mace Ruegg vs Dean Dodge
6 x 3 mins Light-Heavyweight Contest
Lewis Edmondson vs Vladimir Belujski
6 x 3 mins Heavyweight Contest
Tommy Welch vs TBA
6 x 3 mins Welterweight Contest
Michael McKinson vs TBA