CHRIS Billam-Smith admits his first world title defence may have to take place outside of Bournemouth, due to a lack of suitable venue.

When speaking to the Daily Echo in August, Billam-Smith was planning to continue bringing big fights to his hometown, having put on three huge shows in the past 12 months.

Billam-Smith beat Isaac Chamberlain and Armend Xhoxhaj at the Bournemouth International Centre in 2022, before defeating Lawrence Okolie in a blockbuster event at Vitality Stadium in May.

But in a new interview with Boxing News, Billam-Smith says he may have to take his next fight to London, also naming possible opponents and dates, with November 25 or December 2 mooted.

“Lawrence invoked the rematch clause a few days before the deadline but I don’t know if they’re really pushing for it,” said the 33-year-old.

“I’m looking to be out at the end of November ideally. That’s the timeline I’m looking at so I’m just waiting to hear who it’s going to be.

“Lawrence or (Mateusz) Masternak are the two most likely at the moment.

“If it’s not Lawrence then it would probably be Masternak. I’m world champion now so they’re all good fights.

“Now and again you might get a so-called easier mandatory but they are always reputable people that you have to fight.

“With Lawrence, I want the rematch next or not at all really. I want to get on with my career.”

He added: “I don’t know whether or not that will be in Bournemouth.

“It’s a possibility but it would have to be at the BIC which isn’t a very big venue.

“If not there it would have to be in London because I would have a few travelling fans.

“Ideally I get the next one out of the way and then start looking at much bigger fights.

“There are other champions, there is Richard Riakporhe, and I’m not entirely sure what is going on with Badou Jack at the moment.”

Pole Masternak, 36, holds a professional record of 47-5, but has fought just once since October 2021.

He was beaten by Tony Bellew, on a unanimous points decision, in London back in 2015.