Sunday, July 21, 2024

Chris Billam-Smith set to unify world titles soon? Rival champions welcome Las Vegas showdown -Dlight News

Chris Billam-Smith completed a second successful defence of his WBO cruiserweight title on Saturday when he beat Richard Riakporhe at Selhurst Park.

Now he is ready for unification fights with the rival champions.

Noel Mikaelian, who won the WBC title last year when he knocked out Ilunga Makabu, has to make a mandatory defence of the belt. But he is eager to take on Billam-Smith and is willing to travel to make it happen.

“Let’s get it on,” Mikaelian declared.

“He’s a great guy, he has a lot of fans in Britain and I would look forward to unifying against him in Britain, because boxing in Britain is the biggest right now. British fans are great and I would love to fight in Britain,” he told Sky Sports.

He warned: “I’m fast, I have good footwork, I have a tremendous punch which many people don’t know about.

“I’m practically an undefeated fighter. I beat Mairis Briedis and [Krzysztof] Wlodarczyk on their turf I just didn’t get the decision and finally I beat Makabu, who was a tremendous puncher, a heavy hitter in just three rounds, he didn’t get a single punch [in],” he added.

“I can adjust to any style… Any location, any style.

“It would be a pleasure to share the ring with Billam-Smith on his turf as well.

“It would be great for the sport and I would love to fight in Britain.”

But Chris Billam-Smith has an away day of his own potentially in the works.

He revealed that he is in conversation with Gilberto Ramirez about meeting the Mexican in a clash to unify the WBA and WBO titles.

“He messaged me congratulations and said when you’re ready let’s unify. I said the same thing to him after his fight with [Arsen] Goulamirian and I think Golden Boy have been in touch with BOXXER already,” Billam-Smith told Sky Sports News.

“I think November, December time would make sense [for it]. There’s so much at stake but I think it will happen this year.

“[Fighting] ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez excites me so much because of it being most likely in America because he fights over there,” he added.

“That whole thing of going to America that’s the stuff of dreams. I grew up watching Ricky Hatton and what he did over here, then going to America and doing his thing over there. It’s crazy to think that’s the position that I’m in now. More than likely my next fight’s going to be abroad and hopefully get the ‘Zurdo’ fight.

“If we can do it in Vegas it would be a great unification fight. And then fight Jai Opetaia [the IBF champion] after, that would be phenomenal.

“Especially if Jai could go get the other belt and we could do it for an undisputed cruiserweight title. It would be perfect.”

‘It has to be unifications next’

BOXXER promoter Ben Shalom said: “It was an incredible night at Selhurst Park. A fantastic atmosphere and a phenomenal performance from Chris Billam-Smith. Richard Riakporhe will be disappointed, he didn’t get going, but Chris was levels above. He fought to a game plan and executed it perfectly.

“It has to be unifications for him next. That was his third world title fight, and he has proven he is an elite champion.

“It has always been Chris’ dream to fight in Las Vegas. A unification against ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez in Las Vegas could happen. Chris is in a good position. He can have his pick of opponents. It is our job to access the options and deliver the best fight for him.

“From where he has come from to what he has achieved, I wouldn’t bet against him against any of the other cruiserweight champions.”

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