British boxer Chris Billam-Smith has described his upcoming fight against Armend Xhoxhaj as a “high risk, low reward” match.
The 32-year-old European and Commonwealth heavyweight champion is set to face Kosovar in his hometown of Bournemouth on Saturday.
“It’s a dangerous fight and he’s a dangerous fighter,” Billam-Smith told BBC Radio Solent.
“I’ve watched some of his fights and he still holds up, even in his losses.”
Known as “The Gentleman”, Billam-Smith has won his last seven fights and his professional record stands at 16 wins – 11 of them by knockout – with one loss.
Xhoxhaj, nicknamed “The Bombardier,” won the WBO Inter-Continental cruiserweight title after beating Roman Fress in May and has won 14 fights, including seven by knockout, and lost twice since turning pro.
“His right hand comes out quick and he can start really fast too,” Billam-Smith added.
“He will come to win and a European promoter told me the other day not to take it lightly.
‘Grateful’ to fans in tough economic times
The fight will be Billam-Smith’s second in his hometown this year after he successfully defended his titles against Isaac Chamberlain in his first comeback fight at the Bournemouth International Center (BIC) in July.
He says he is better prepared for his second homecoming.
“I had much better preparation going into this fight and it was more relaxed,” Billam-Smith said. “It was a terrible camp last time out with terrible injuries and fights – it wasn’t ideal.
“Luckily my wife understands – she has been superb throughout my training.
“I stayed away and went to a hotel to make sure I got enough sleep. It’s a sacrifice to be away from my family, it’s hard, but we’re doing really well.
“Last time at BIC the atmosphere was amazing and I’m so grateful the fans are coming back to see me so close to Christmas in these difficult times – I promise to give them a great show.”