Billam-Smith ate 50z steak in 30 mins – and jokes he’ll become competitive eater

Chris Billam-Smith became the WBO cruiserweight world champion in dominant fashion when he knocked down long-time friend Lawrence Okolie three times in May.

The 33-year-old boxer pulled off the biggest win of his career in front of his home fans at Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium. It emerged later that he fought through an illness that left him unable to eat food during fight week, which he put down to being a “different” breed.

Operating at 60% of his usual energy wasn’t enough to deter him from a dream he'd held since the age of 16 as he claimed a decision win after 12 rounds. But it turns out The Gentleman’s competitive spirit and “growth mind-set” isn’t just limited to the ring.

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Billam-Smith claims that with his grit and big heart comes an even bigger appetite – one which has seen him take on several eating challenges, apparently for fun. The boxer recently took on 10,000 calories in a YouTube video, scoffing down meal after meal without mercy.

He playfully recalled in an exclusive interview with Daily Star Sport: “We ordered a large Domino's once and I finished it in three minutes 19 seconds. I’m certain I would have done it quicker if I didn’t burn the top of my mouth in the first few bites.

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“I also did a 50 ounce steak challenge once where it was like steak, chips, onion rings and salad. You had to do it in 40 minutes and I did it in 30 minutes and had a dessert as well just to top it off.

“I’ve always been a good eater. Maybe that’s what I’ll do when I retire, just become a Man Versus Food guy and do loads of eating challenges.”

The Epsom-born fighter ironically couldn’t stomach anything in fight week back in May, managing just three meals between his weigh-in and bout but refusing to pull out of the bout with a bug. “I just thought if I could grit it out for 36 minutes and put myself through hell…” he said.

Billam Smith’s motivation goes some way to explaining how he still put on a show at the stadium where he once owned a season ticket. The 18-1 fighter could not let down his core base of fans, nor could he end his own dreams of a world title where many others would have simply pulled out.

But while claiming the belt itself was the biggest drive initially, he admitted his motivations have now shifted. Billam-Smith highlighted how his first title defence, set to take place this year with a potential rematch against Okolie, is now motivated by a need to secure his family’s future – as well as a boxing legacy.

“I don't want to be a flash in the pan,” he said. “ I want to create a bit of a legacy and build now. The motivation has changed. Before I was doing it for myself but now it’s about securing a legacy and a financial future for my wife and my son, and any other family we end up having.

“It's hard to just sit back and enjoy the win because I'm motivated. I think when I retire I'll be able to fully look back on the night and appreciate it even more so than I do now.

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“I haven't celebrated with a gift to myself. Me and my wife have been doing the house up. I bought it the day before the Isaac Chamberlain fight and we just moved in about a month ago so we've been doing the house up.

"All the money went on that. Now we've got a nice family home for me, my wife and my one-year-old son. So that's very special.”

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