BOURNEMOUTH cruiserweight sensation Chris Billam-Smith took one step closer to a world title after a devastating knockout victory over Armend Xhoxhaj at the BIC.

After weathering an early flurry, including taking an overhand right in the second round, a brutal hook from the Dorset fighter in the fifth following an array of shots sent his opponent to the canvas with the bout immediately waved off.

Success extended to 17 victories and one defeat the Shane McGuigan-trained star’s professional record – with a potential world title bout mooted on a BOXXER show at Vitality Stadium next summer.

Australian southpaw Jai Opetaia has been reported as a potential target for the former Poole ABC man, who once again delivered the goods in an electric atmosphere in his hometown.

Billam-Smith first had to get past Kosovo born Xhoxhaj, who had only been stopped twice in his own professional career ahead of the contest.

After weathering an early flurry from Xhoxhaj, with a right hand in the second the visiting fighter tried to jump on – Billam-Smith landed some neat shots in round three which had the crowd on their feet.

And it was in round five Billam-Smith delivered the pivotal blow. After a right hand landed, Billam-Smith sensed his opportunity and found a shot on the button to end the contest.

Elsewhere on the card, Dorset fighters Mace Ruegg and Lee Cutler both sealed points victories on the undercard.