THE career of Chris Billam-Smith is now reaching a stage of “making memories” according to the WBO cruiserweight champion.

On Saturday night the 33-year-old retained his title to level the score at 1-1 in his rivalry with Richard Riakporhe five years on from their original encounter.

Billam-Smith’s second defence was another big-time event outdoors at Selhurst Park the home of Riakporhe’s favourite football team Crystal Palace. The champion upset the odds though delivering a tactically astute performance against his heavy handed challenger.

With nearly seven years as a professional fighter under his belt in a career where there have been a share of tough and demanding fights Billam-Smith wants even bigger nights to look back on.

“For me now it’s about making memories and looking back on a career which I really enjoyed,” he told Boxing News yesterday (June 16).

“Everyone wants to fight in America and my next few fights, if I had a magic wand, would be “Zurdo” [Ramirez] in America and [Jai] Opetaia wherever. That’d be amazing. Zurdo is by no means an easy fight. A very talented fighter. Only lost to [Dmitry] Bivol. Had a great win against [Arsen Goulamirian] but he’s obviously Stateside.

“When you’re a kid you want to fight in your team’s football stadium and then you get to do that and then someone else’s football stadium. And where do you go from there? Dream big dreams as I learned from the film ‘Sing’. That’s it for me. I just want to make memories. A fight over there and then Opetaia would be fantastic.”

As things stand elsewhere in the cruiserweight division Gilberto Ramirez holds the WBA title, Opetaia is the IBF champion and Noel Mikaelian has the WBC belt.


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