WILLIAM Shakespeare famously once wrote: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”

For Bournemouth boxer Chris Billam-Smith, he has reached his most high-profile scene thus far, when he takes centre-stage at the BIC against Isaac Chamberlain on Saturday.

But the Shane McGuigan-trained cruiserweight is more than used to being around those taking up leading roles – both in sport and film.

Growing up, the former Poole ABC star’s dad Alan worked as a stagehand, organising sets for an array of top films.

Bournemouth Echo:

Going to the sets of the likes of Gladiator and Harry Potter as a youngster, Billam-Smith’s brothers Nick and Ben are also in the film industry as a rigger and carpenter respectively.

It is a work-ethic the man nicknamed ‘The Gentleman’ has always been keen to replicate in his own career, having climbed through the ranks to become Commonwealth and European champion.

Speaking ahead of bringing up the curtain on his latest title defence, Billam-Smith said: “He (dad Alan) helped organise sets and does things around the set. One of my brothers is a rigger and the other is a carpenter.

“They all work in the film industry and it’s quite cool. I have got to go on a few famous sets in my time.

“I would say the most famous would have been Gladiator. My dad worked on that when I was about nine years old in Malta. We got to go to the colosseum – they built two thirds of the colosseum for that film.

“I’ve been to the set of Troy, Harry Potter, loads of different sets and he has worked on some pretty awesome films and my brothers have as well.

“The work-ethic my dad has, has been passed down to me and my brothers.

“We were in the same hotel as Sean Bean when my dad was filming Troy out in Mexico. I flew out there on my 13th birthday.

“All week Sean Bean was in the hotel. I didn’t really know who he was then but now I wish I got a picture!”

Bournemouth Echo:

Asked whether there was no better stage for him then the BIC, Billam-Smith said: “For me it’s the right stage at the right time. It’s a huge opportunity for me and one that I am just so excited about and can’t wait to grab with both hands.

“If I get a world title, maybe Hollywood will come calling!

Quizzed on who he would cast to play himself in a film made of his career, the Dorset star joked: “I know he has done a film and people always say I look like him, so it’d be John Cena. Everyone always says I look like him on fight weeks!

“When posters come out they are like ‘I didn’t know John Cena was fighting’. He’s done a couple of films, so I guess it would have to be him.

“I think he’d do me more than justice. He’s a lot bigger bloke than I am and probably a better actor too!”

Bournemouth Echo:

The BIC itself also offers an array of nostalgia for the 31-year-old, for far more than just boxing.

“My first ever gig was there watching Arctic Monkeys just over 16 years ago. That was in April 2006,” he revealed.

“That was the first ever gig I went to on my own. I have seen Oasis there, Prodigy, Stereophonics.

“It’s going to be an electric walk-out and one I can’t wait for.”

Having modelled Cherries’ new away strip during his open workout on Bournemouth beach on Thursday, Billam-Smith is also looking forward to welcoming some of Scott Parker’s stars to the fight after their pre-season clash with Real Sociedad.

Bournemouth Echo:

He also revealed former Cherries star Aaron Ramsdale is set to be in attendance on the night.

“Quite a lot of the lads are coming to the fight,” he said.

“I saw Brooksy (David Brooks) at the game the other day, he said good luck and he’s looking forward to it.

“I know a lot of the lads are coming down to the fight. Obviously, they’ve got business first in their last pre-season friendly.

“Hopefully they will have a nice team bonding night out at the BIC watching me, that’d be lovely!

“It would be incredible to have the support of the football team and a club I love. They have been absolutely superb with me and it will be an amazing night.”