WORLD Champion Chris Billam-Smith is not fussed about who he faces next in the ring – as long as he is fighting in front of a Bournemouth crowd.

On Sunday, December 10, the Gentleman preserved his WBO cruiserweight title by stopping Polish brawler Mateusz Masternak at the Bournemouth International Centre.

It seems likely that a rematch with Richard Riakpohre is now on the cards.

Billam-Smith’s only professional defeat came against Riakpohre in 2019.

Asked for his next steps, Billam-Smith replied: “If I could pick – well, I’d get the IBF on the line and fight Richard, that'd be great!

“I'm not sure how possible that would be with governing bodies and whatnot.

“I don't really care who it is next, but I care where it is.

“It's got to be down here because you can't turn down that atmosphere.

“The atmosphere is phenomenal. There's not a crowd like it at the moment in the UK. There really isn't.

“You get like general fans, but there's no town that gets behind their fighters like this lot.

“I don't care who it is next or if there's any other belts on the line or not. But, as long as it's in Bournemouth, I'm a happy man.”

With further mandatory fights likely for his belt, Billam-Smith stated the will not duck the toughest opponents.

“I'm not in this game for easy pickings. I never have been,” he continued.

“I've taken hard fights throughout since the Richard Riakporhe fight.

“Everyone thought Richard was going to blow me away - it was a close decision.

“Then the Craig Glover fight, it was a hard fight, and then you have Tommy McCarthy.

“You have (Isaac) Chamberlain on six-weeks’ notice, good fighters.

“And then Lawrence (Okolie) for a world title, who's never looked like getting close to getting beaten.

“I drop him in numerous times and win the world title. Then I fight the next.

“So I'm so pleased with the growth of my career and they’re the fights you've got to have.

“You've seen other fighters, even in my division, jump from one level to the next and where my career has gone, it's been obviously superbly managed by the McGuigans.

“But us as a team, it’s just the perfect career and we're learning still, 20 fights in.

“To be able to learn in a world title defense and know there's so much more is exciting.”