KEEPER Aaron Ramsdale was proud to see good friend Chris Billam-Smith seal victory in the biggest fight of his life – with the pair going on a unique journey in their respective sports.

The England international used to train at Bendall’s gym once a week when part of Cherries goalkeeping group.

From there, he met Billam-Smith, along with Poole-based fighter Lee Cutler and coach Kev Thorniley.

With Billam-Smith, Cutler and Poole-trained Joe Pigford all sealing victories at the BIC on Saturday, Ramsdale was pleased to be in attendance along with a number of his former teammates.

Speaking while congratulating Billam-Smith after he beat Isaac Chamberlain to defend his European and Commonwealth belts, the goalkeeper told the Daily Echo: “Coming home back down south and seeing Chris fight for the first time live – what a fight to come back to.

“It’s my first boxing fight ever live. I’m definitely hooked for Chris but also Lee and Joe.

“It was a great event they put on and hopefully they come back to Bournemouth soon.

“Back a few years ago, I used to spend every Monday down at Bendall’s gym and train with Kev and Chris.

“Every now and then I used to see Chris. I used to spar with Lee every now and then and show him a few things or two!

“But he has done amazing and Chris doing what he is doing… I don’t think anybody I know would get in the ring and do what he does.”

Asked whether he could predict three years ago he would be an England goalkeeper and Billam-Smith on the brink of a world title fight, Ramsdale replied: “I’d have probably said that he would be fighting for a world title! You could see what he had in him, how hard he works and how dedicated he is.

“Both of us have done really well but Saturday was his night, fighting in front of his crowd and the atmosphere was amazing.

“Hopefully we can come back – maybe at the Vitality and we can get 10,000 to 12,000 in there.

“It would be amazing. We go back in three weeks football-wise (with Arsenal) but I’d love to go back on a day where I’ve got no sides, no ties and have no pressure apart from watching Chris and hoping he wins.

“Going back to the North Stand, wherever it will be, cheering him on, it would be amazing.”