CHRIS Billam-Smith is set to return to the Bournemouth International Centre for his first world title defence in December.

The Bournemouth favourite stunned Lawrence Okolie to become WBO cruiserweight champion on a memorable night at Vitality Stadium in May.

That followed two standout victories at the BIC in 2022, as big-time boxing came to the south coast.

Billam-Smith himself suggested his next fight may have to take place outside of his hometown, with London touted as a possibility, in a bid to find a bigger venue.

But it has now been confirmed ‘The Gentleman’ will box at the BIC on Sunday, December 10.

While Okolie invoked a rematch clause, he will not be Billam-Smith’s opponent this time around.

Billam-Smith is set to put his belt on the line against experienced Pole Mateusz Masternak.

The 36-year-old boasts a professional record of 47-5, including 31 knockouts.

He has boxed just once since October 2021, last defeating Jason Whateley in Poland a year ago this month.

Masternak has fought once in the UK previously, losing by unanimous decision to Tony Bellew at London’s O2 Arena in 2015.

Billam-Smith, 33, took his record to 18-1 with victory over Okolie.

His last fight at the BIC saw him beat Kosovan Armend Xhoxhaj in devastating fashion in December 2022. One of Xhoxhaj’s other two pro defeats saw him knocked out by Masternak.

The full line-up for the BOXXER card is to be confirmed.