BOXXER promoter Ben Shalom thanked Cherries for their “incredible” support, with Vitality Stadium set to host a huge all-British world title fight this summer.

Diehard Cherries fan Chris Billam-Smith will look to take the WBO cruiserweight title from unbeaten Lawrence Okolie on Saturday, May 27.

It marks a long held dream of Billam-Smith’s to box at the home of his beloved Cherries and now that is set to become reality.

But Shalom admits this bout, between two friends and former gym mates, was not one he expected.

“I think the fighters demanded it, to be honest,” he said.

“We didn’t see this one coming either. I have to thank AFC Bournemouth, their support has been incredible.

“To start with, Chris Billam-Smith for the first time (headlining) in Bournemouth under 12 months ago, the journey has been incredible.

“So to actually realise the dream, at a stadium for a world title fight, but not just any world title fight – the domestic world title against Lawrence Okolie, who for us, activity is key.

“He signed for us to be in the big nights, the big fights and what a statement. Seven weeks after his last fight, he’s going to step into the lion’s den, in Bournemouth and to defend his world title against Chris Billam-Smith.

“I have to thank both fighters and both teams for allowing us to put on this fight, because it doesn’t happen often in boxing.

“They’re both putting it all on the line and we get to see an incredible story come together, an incredible fight and, to be honest, something that no-one saw coming.”

Last year, Billam-Smith picked up two wins as the main event of BOXXER shows at the BIC, beating Isaac Chamberlain and Armend Xhoxhaj.

Asked about Bournemouth fight nights, Shalom said: “It’s a tough environment to go into (for Okolie).

“What a fight that was (v Chamberlain) but this one is going to be something special. A world title.

“We brought the first, televised boxing event to Bournemouth in the summer. Now we’re at the stadium. It’s credit to Chris, it’s credit to everyone involved.”