Fowler and Billam-Smith are on different paths – but both are heading to the top

Anthony Fowler and Chris Billam-Smith are case studies in the different routes boxers take to get to the top.

Fowler was a stellar amateur representing GB at the Rio Olympics, which boosts any fighter's entry into the paid ranks.

Billam-Smith's journey is the more common and in some ways harder. Yet both have arrived at the same point, seeking to hit the accelerator towards big title fights.

Fowler has been with us just short of a year and has really refocused since he came down to Kent.

He's a dedicated guy. It's all about attention to detail with him. He has embraced new methods that come with changing trainers and looks razor sharp and strong in the gym.

It is two years since his split-decision loss to Scott Fitzgerald. That was a game changer for him. He felt that he wasn't maximising his potential and needed to try something different.

This is his third fight with my son, Shane. Covid halted his progress but that is the same across the board. He now needs to get a move on and feels he is in the right place.

He turned 30 last week and is looking to push on against a solid opponent in Jorge Fortea at Wembley next Saturday. A big win would be the perfect gift.

There is greater expectation on an Olympian. He campaigned as a middleweight but has dropped six pounds as a pro.

Making the weight and being strong is an art in this game. He and Shane do it the right way, to ensure he hits his straps on fight night.

The plan is to keep him busy this year. Get this one out of the way and then challenge for titles.

Billam-Smith has benefited massively from being around fellow cruiserweight Lawrence Okolie, who challenges for the vacant WBO title next week.

Billam-Smith faces Vasil Ducar on the Wembley undercard. Ducar has lost only to world level guys. He’s heavy handed with a decent chin.

Chris got his career back on track after his one, split-decision loss two years ago to Richard Riakporhe, winning the Commonwealth title in his next bout.

He has since been out to spar with IBF champion Mairis Breidis, which is how you get better in this game.

This is all about going ten tough rounds. It’s a hot division, but he has huge ambition. I think he is capable of adding the European title to the Commonwealth crown and then we shoot for the stars from there.

Follow Barry on Twitter at @ClonesCyclone, @McGuigans_Gym and @CyclonePromo

Source: Read Full Article