Skip to content
Home » Okolie vs Billam-Smith set for record-breaking Bournemouth crowd on May 27

Okolie vs Billam-Smith set for record-breaking Bournemouth crowd on May 27

Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium will host the largest non-football audience in its history on Saturday, May 27th when 15,000 fans will pack the venue to witness hometown hero Chris Billam-Smith (17-1-0, 12 KOs) challenge former team mate Lawrence Okolie (19-0, 14 KOs) for the cruiserweight championship of the world.

The ground usually hosts 11,300 seated fans for the Premiership football games of AFC Bournemouth, but BOXXER has received licensing permission from Bournemouth authorities to expand seating provision for Billam-Smith’s title tilt, the biggest boxing event ever to take place in the south coast region.

And it’s not only the fans who benefit – in addition to allowing thousands more people to experience this landmark event in person, the expanded seating allocation will also create extra funding for local charities set to receive a portion of the profits from this event.

Bournemouth-based entrepreneur and philanthropist Joseph Ashford Ellis – BOXXER’s local partner in the region – has been a driving force and key player in bringing BOXXER events to Bournemouth, hoping it will provide inspiration for local youngsters to channel their time and energy into sport “instead of just hanging around on the streets”.

A key partner in the May 27th event, Joseph has vowed to donate his proportion of profits from the event to two local charities an amateur boxing club and a charity which works with Bournemouth’s street-homeless population. (In 2022, determined to bring BOXXER to Bournemouth, he assumed massive financial risk to himself by personally underwriting the cost of every ticket for the first event.)

On May 27th he will once again be ringside as the evening’s event plays out, paying particular attention to the boxers from his management stable who are competing on the card, including Southampton’s Joe Pigford, Bournemouths very own Lee Cutler and the Portsmouth talent Mikey McKinson.

“Bournemouth is my home town. It’s where all my children have been born and raised, I genuinely love the town, I love the people and I wanted the chance to do something for the community here. I strongly believe in sport as a pathway to a better life for young people and I hope that this event – and the two prior BOXXER events in Bournemouth – have shown what it’s possible to achieve when you are on the right path,” said Ashford-Ellis.

“This event is a landmark moment for Bournemouth but for me it’s about the chance to give something back. I’m excited to see the sold-out atmosphere in the Vitality Stadium on fight night but I’m also looking forward even more to the moment when I take my share of the event revenue and hand it over to these vital community projects. That’s going to be a very proud moment for me, another tick off my bucket list and I’m just delighted to be able to give something back.”

Ben Shalom, BOXXER Founder and CEO, “Bournemouth has turned out to be a sleeping giant of the British boxing scene. Our visit absolutely blew us away, the crowd was unbelievable and to this day it’s an event BOXXER staff still talk about. The atmospheres at both our Bournemouth events have been indescribable and I really cannot wait to see what level things go to when the main event fighters are walking out at the Vitality Stadium on May 27th.

“We are unbelievably fortunate to have Joe Ashford-Ellis as our partner in Bournemouth. He was so passionate about bringing us here and he’s moved heaven and earth to make these events happen, motivated by his desire to do something for the young people here. That motivation gives him limitless energy and we honestly couldn’t have asked for a better partner as we prepare to stage the biggest non-football sports event in Bournemouth history.”

This event will be presented in association with official partners Everlast, WOW HYDRATE, Village Hotels and Who Dares Gyms.

The card for BOXXER: OKOLIE vs BILLAM-SMITH is as follows:

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