AHEAD of the biggest night of his career at Vitality Stadium later this month, Chris Billam-Smith has teamed up with the Daily Echo to give fans an insight into his preparations.

The lifelong Cherries fan, who grew up on the south coast, is set to face Lawrence Okolie for the WBO cruiserweight title on Saturday, May 27.

Here is the first entry from Chris.

Eight years ago last week, AFC Bournemouth got promoted to the Premier League.

A friend and I were watching on TV just around the corner, as we couldn't get tickets on that particular date.

As you can imagine we were elated when we knew they were being promoted and decided to run across to the stadium, sneak in and storm the pitch once the full-time whistle went.

My friend Ben found us elaborate dressing up costumes just to add to the fun and as a result we ended up being streamed live on TV, him in a Sylvester the Cat costume and me as his sidekick, in a rather ill-fitting bright yellow Tweetie Pie costume!

A picture of that moment got shared on Facebook and a year later, fellow local boxer Lee Cutler commented on the picture calling me 'a tit'.

My reply was 'don't get jealous Lee, you'll be boxing on that pitch one day, on my undercard.’

I hadn't even turned pro at that time, but it has always been a goal and a vision of mine even seven years ago.

The road is long but here we are three weeks out from that dream and I'm still finding it hard to comprehend the reality that is dawning.

In terms of camp it's going really well. I have already completed a 12 round spar with three different sparring partners, strength training is now into a power phase and the weight is in a really good place.

I'm really missing time with my family and friends, but as the saying goes, nothing good can be achieved in life without sacrifice.

I'm unbelievably excited to get in to that home dressing room on fight night, get warmed up, ready for battle and then start my ring walk into what is sure to be the most unreal atmosphere.

Billam-Smith, 31, holds a professional record of 17 wins and one defeat.

That follows two brilliant victories at the BIC last year, over Isaac Chamberlain and Armend Xhoxhaj, backed by vociferous home support, which convinced BOXXER and Sky Sports to put on this month’s show at Vitality Stadium.

Lee Cutler is indeed set to be on the undercard, boxing Stanley Stannard.

Tickets are still available for the event via tickets.afcb.co.uk