Chris Billam-Smith has warned Lawrence Okolie that he is yet to see the best of him despite several previous sparring sessions, ahead of their clash on Saturday.
Billam-Smith challenges Okolie for his WBO cruiserweight world title at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth in front of an expected 15,000 fans, live on Sky Sports.
The pair shared the same gym under trainer Shane McGuigan, before Okolie left earlier this year to link-up with SugarHill Steward, who will be in his corner on Saturday.
‘The Gentleman’ feels his former stablemate-turned rival has already displayed his best form and insists he is in for a surprise when they meet.
“I think we’ve seen the best Lawrence Okolie,” Billam-Smith told proboxing-fans.com.
“I expect him to be a lot better than he was in his last fight.
“I think I’ve sparred the best Lawrence Okolie there’s been.
“There will be things he does differently. As we’ve kind of seen there’s a few changes he’s made under Sugar.
“But, he hasn’t seen the best of me and I think that’s the element of surprise which will hit him on fight night.
“By then it’ll be too late.”
The 32-year-old Bournemouth man has won eight on the bounce since a split decision defeat to Richard Riakporhe, his last victory being a showreel fifth round knockout of Armend Xhoxhaj in December.
Okolie made a third successful defence of his WBO crown with a unanimous decision success over David Light in March to extend his unbeaten record to 19 straight professional wins.
Billam-Smith admits his goal is to secure a maiden world title by stoppage.
“Absolutely [I think I can stop him,” he added.
“That’s the game plan. I don’t want to ever leave anything to chance on the cards.
“I did that once before and it didn’t go in my favour.
“So the game plan is always now to go through it, no rounds off, just graft every round until the end.”
Watch the full interview with Chris Billam-Smith below: