Ben Shalom gives a view of Billam-Smith’s dream Vitality Stadium

BOXXER promoter Ben Shalom said Cherries had been “so supportive” of trying to fulfill Chris Billam-Smith’s dream of battling on the field at Vitality Stadium.

The man nicknamed The Gentleman boosted his chances of securing a world title by brutally knocking out Armend Xhoxhaj at BIC on Saturday.

The fight was part of a two-fight deal the 32-year-old had agreed with BOXXER, with Shalom saying the Bournemouth puncher had Cherries’ backing to make his Dean Court dream a reality.

Asked if he had spoken to the club about having a show at Vitality Stadium, Shalom told the Daily Echo: “They’ve been so supportive, honestly.

“They want this to happen. They feel very connected to Chris now and have supported him from the start.

“The fans who come out (of boxing) are also Bournemouth fans – it’s very linked to the football club and it also seems to be going through a transition.

“I think it’s a very exciting time to be from Bournemouth and it’s all happening with the Premier League and the city’s first real boxing superstar to come.

“It’s a great city and we can’t wait to get back.”

The Shalom promotion and Sky Sports first came to town in July, when Billam-Smith emerged victorious in a blockbuster 12-round match against Isaac Chamberlain.

His knockout against Xhoxhaj from Kosovo was talked about on social media at the same place.

“We came here in July. We couldn’t believe the love and care for Chris and the fans just realized boxing was in their town for the first time,” the promoter added.

“I don’t think boxing ever really existed here.

“We are going to Liverpool, we are going to Manchester, we are going to Glasgow, we are going to Newcastle and London. They are so used to boxing that they almost say to themselves “oh it’s coming back”.

“But in Bournemouth they love it. I’ve never seen a crowd that arrives at five, six o’clock, they watch all the fights – they support all the fighters whether they’re from Bournemouth or not.

“It was amazing, really and they have that local hero in Chris Billam-Smith that they can relate to. I think it’s great for the city – Michael B Jordan is involved with AFC Bournemouth, everything is pass !

“The Creed premiere I have my eyes on in March with Chris and it’s going to be a big step up for what will be one of the biggest nights in British boxing next year in May at Vitality Stadium.

“He deserves it because he’s been through war after war and he’s done it in front of his home fans.”

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