CRUISERWEIGHT sensation Chris Billam-Smith extended to nine fights his perfect professional record and admitted: “It was good to shed the ring rust.”

The Bournemouth puncher made light work of Italian Yassine Habachi at the Nottingham Arena, forcing his opponent to retire after a devastating blow at the end of the third round.

And with his eighth knockout victory in the bank, the former Poole ABC man is set to step up preparations for the biggest fight of his life, when he takes on Richard Riakporhe for the WBA Inter-Continental Cruiserweight title on July 20.

Assessing victory over Habachi, the Shane McGuigan-trained star told the Daily Echo: “It was good to get out and that was the whole point of the exercise, to get another fight and another win under my belt.

“It was an okay performance from me, it was good to shed the ring rust and you could see I was a bit rusty in there.

“He was a tough bloke and he posed a few problems.

“But as a whole, it was a good finish. I varied my shots better than I had done in the past and that’s what brought about the finish.

“Now we can go into camp for the next fight and fully focus on that.”

Normally based in London at McGuigan’s Gym during the week, Billam-Smith is set to spend the next week in Bournemouth to keep himself ticking over.

“I am going to hopefully do some different stuff,” he added. “A mate of mine runs a fit club so I am going to do a couple of his sessions, try to mix up my training a bit and keep it fairly fresh.

“I will keep the body guessing, do some yoga and stuff like that. I should probably do more yoga to be honest but it’s finding time and the energy in the week to fit it in with the other 10 sessions we do.

“Hopefully it will help me recover and keep me in decent nick for the start of the next camp.”