I’LL be completely honest; I never thought we’d be in this position with Chris Billam-Smith boxing Lawrence Okolie – but it’s one we have to grasp with both hands now it’s here.

Lawrence has something that Chris wants. How many more fringe world level fighters can Chris box? Sky want pay-per-view events and they want world title fights. Look, we’ve got one, we’re going to go and give it our all. If Chris gets the game plan right, it’s a winnable fight for sure.

He’s naturally a tougher man than Lawrence. He’s naturally more brave. Lawrence has ‘self preservation’ stamped on his forehead. He doesn’t want to go to the well and that’s why he boils himself down from 108kg to 90kg instead of moving to heavyweight. It’s so he has an advantage. In everything Lawrence does he always wants an advantage. He always wants to be one step ahead.

He does have a massive advantage here – he’s physically a much bigger specimen than Chris. He’s stronger than him when you get him in the weights room, he punches harder than him. All of these things favour Lawrence but in mindset, Chris is a much superior person. And, also, he can go in there and put himself on the line.

But that’s why Lawrence is always in the fights he is in. He is either boring the place out or knocking them out with one shot – because he’s got the power. There is no in between. He’s never thinking it through or breaking someone down. It’s always either he blitzes them or hits them with a few good shots, they weather it, and he wins in a boring, messy way.

It’s up to us to ensure we can negate what he does well. First off, get through the first three or four rounds. If we do that we can chip away, land a few good shots and then make sure we negate what he does well. We know what we have to do to get success in this fight. It’s whether Chris can consistently execute that for the 12 rounds. If he can, I think he can chip away at him.

If this fight had been made a year or two ago, I think you’d have to say it’s an Okolie win. But at the same time he’s now finding a new style and Chris has got better. We know what we have to do. It’s a world title fight, at home in front of 15,000 people. Out of the champions at cruiserweight, I favour us against Lawrence because we know him well. I know what his weaknesses are mentally and physically. It means we can go in there with a structured game plan to give ourselves the best opportunity.

Chris has done nothing but surprise me over the years. He has always showed up and held himself accountable which a lot of fighters don’t. He says CBS stands for Consistency Breed Success and that’s the truth. He has consistently put it in day in, day out to strive for an extra half per cent.

Over the past five years that consistency has compounded and we’re here fighting for a world title. This is a guy who didn’t win loads of national titles, he wasn’t an international amateur champion – but he has the main ingredients you need for a fighter: bravery, decent chin, good balance, good athleticism and most importantly – mindset.

We won’t be having any excuses after the fight in terms of his shape either. It’s not one of those where we say it’s a great training camp but we’re bluffing it. It genuinely has been a fantastic training camp and, in truth, Chris always struggled with them. Bigger guys, when their volume of sparring and mileage increases, break down quicker. That’s why a lot of the heavyweight gets injured but we’ve had no injuries, he’s been flying. I’m really happy on that front.

We have prepared for the best version of Lawrence Okolie and I believe the best version was in our gym anyway. Chris has done 200-plus rounds of sparring with the best version of Lawrence so we know what we’ve got to do. Go out there and change your life.