PROMOTER Ben Shalom is eyeing another blockbuster boxing show at Vitality Stadium this summer.

Hometown hero and avid Cherries Chris Billam-Smith headlined at the venue in May 2023 in front of around 15,000 fans, producing a surprise win over Lawrence Okolie to become world champion.

The 33-year-old has since defended his title, with victory over Mateusz Masternak as the much smaller venue of the Bournemouth International Centre in December.

It marks four sold-out shows on the spin in Bournemouth headlined by the Gentleman, since his partnership with BOXXER began in the summer of 2022.

“Sometimes I think, what would have happened if we started our career with Chris Billam-Smith? It would’ve been incredible,” Shalom told the Daily Echo.

“You look at the Josh Warringtons and Ricky Hattons, the influence Ricky Hatton has had on the Manchester boxing scene now, it’s almost like their second sport.

“A lot of that is down to him. You just need that one star.

“Hopefully we’ll be at the stadium again (in 2024).

“He (Billam-Smith) has just got to keep winning. One day he is going to want to unify.

“I think he’s got a tough potential mandatory next, with Richard Riakporhe.

“That is a really, really tough fight. His only defeat, so it’s a rematch as well.

“But hopefully for him he keeps winning and we’re back at the stadium in May.”

The Daily Echo understands there has been some reluctance from Cherries regarding hosting another boxing event, after some crowd trouble during the show last year.

But Shalom insists a return to the venue is in the pipeline.

“AFC Bournemouth loved it,” he said.

“For them, that was something special and something they could never have imagined.

“I remember speaking to the owner. He was looking there and thinking he didn’t see how big boxing could be for this town, for the football club.

“Chris Billam-Smith brought that. Now he’s part of the club.

“We’d love to be back there in May. I expect to be back there in May. We’ll see.”