We were delighted to welcome Chris Billam-Smith to Chicken & Blues in Bournemouth this week for a ‘knockout’ lunch following his recent stellar performance against Tommy McCarthy. Chris beat Tommy for the second time, with a clinical knockout, to retain his Commonwealth and European belts. Thanks to Chris, Bournemouth is now officially on the professional boxing map.
C&B is always super keen to feature and support home grown talent!
Here’s our 10 questions with the champ…
Chris, thanks for sitting down with us for a chat after your lunch! We have prepared 10 questions for you, to give C&B fans some insights into your life as a boxer… So…Firstly, how did you originally get into boxing?
I met my mate Dean Perkins at college and started training with him. I went and watched him fight and we were all chanting his name as he made his ring walk and I just stopped and thought that must be an amazing feeling having your name chanted by all your friends and family. So I decided that I wanted to get in the ring and have a fight.
You’re nicknamed ‘The Gentlemen’, where does this come from? Shane (Mcguigan) my coach came up with it. I think I just said please and thank you more often than the other lads as I was very grateful for the opportunity they had given me.
You’re now part of Shane McGuigan’s stable of fighters, based in London. How did this come about?
I got offered to spar George Groves and I went and sparred and did well. Then they kept asking me to come back and spar George and David Haye. Then when I decided to turn pro I asked Shane and thankfully he said yes
Give us an insight into what a day of training entails for you? We do punching 4-5 days per week, then the 2nd session of the day will be a run, strength + conditioning or circuit. Thankfully Shane is new school in the sense that we don’t have to get up stupidly early!
Who is your biggest sporting inspiration?
George (Groves) was huge for me in boxing. I loved watching him and now to have met him and become mates is awesome. I admire LeBron James and the way he continues to perform at top level consistently due to the way he looks after himself.
What makes a great fighter?
The biggest thing is the mindset. I’ve seen fighters with 85/90% of the attributes and they couldn’t make it. The mind is the most powerful tool in every single thing we do in life.
On top of that, you have to tick all the boxes and some are out of your control like having a good chin.
If you could have one dream fight with anyone, who would it be?
To fight for a world title at Dean Court. That for me is the ultimate dream. I love Bournemouth as a town and I love the football club. It’d be an honour.
What’s next for Chris Billam-Smith? Fatherhood. Baby Billam-Smith is imminent so that is where my focus lies currently. My team are great and are working behind the scenes to sort my next fight.
What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career?
Being an exciting talented world champion who people enjoyed watching.
Lastly, and most importantly of course, what do you enjoy eating and drinking when you visit C&B?
Not sure if you’ve got enough space for this in the article! Double Chicken, Chipotle Original Wrap, BBQ Wings, Waffle Fries (to dip in BBQ Wings sauce) and Mac and Cheese bites. All washed down with a Bundaberg Ginger Beer.. All of this is out of camp of course! In camp, some Chicken and Sweet Potato Mash or the amazing Chicken Caesar Salad!
Well… that about wraps things up this time! Many thanks to Chris for taking the time out to speak to us ahead of what promises to be an exciting year, both in and out of the ring!