Hackney’s Lawrence Okolie has the desire to become world champion again after losing his WBO cruiserweight mantle to hometown favourite Chris Billam-Smith at AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium.

Okolie, 30, was on the wrong end of a 12-round majority decision victory (112-112, 116-107, 115-108) as he saw his 26-month WBO reign come to an end with a first career loss in 20 bouts.

And there was never a dull moment in a rollercoaster encounter as Billam-Smith, 32, floored his good friend and former training partner three times on his way to a stunning victory that took his record to 18 wins in 19 bouts.

Okolie, who had two points deducted in rounds five and seven, did raise his work rate to look for a stoppage in the final two rounds but it was too little, too late.

The former Stoke Newington School pupil is keen for a rematch but BOXXER promoter Ben Shalom is keen to match the Bournemouth man with Walworth’s 16-fight unbeaten 33-year-old Richard Riakporhe.

"This is boxing and the main thing I know is I'm down but I'm not out,” Okolie told Sky Sports.

“It was a good performance from Chris but there was nothing in there that made me think he's unbeatable or whatever else. It was just a good performance. He put everything on the line and he got his reward for it, but I will definitely be pushing for a rematch.”

And despite boxing in front of 15,000 people, with the majority supporting local boy Billam-Smith, Okolie kept focusing on his task inside the ring.

"Fighting in someone's back garden and seeing everything they've got, Chris was fantastic," he added.

"His confidence is probably going to go up off that win. But there's not really much more to it. If I'm going to lose in Bournemouth I might as well win here.

"The crowd was excited, it's Bournemouth, I was the away fighter, despite being the champion. For me I should've been better. I wasn't, so you've got to take it and come again.

"The three knockdowns in total given against me also left me with a huge deficit on the scorecards. I'm going to be world champion again.

"There's certain positions that you're allowed to get into in boxing and there's no fight in boxing where two people don't come together. Obviously with the occasion and you've got Shane McGuigan in the corner shouting to the referee 'He's holding!' - anyone can get flustered.

"I would obviously have liked to beat him and knock him out but he got the victory here. I don't really feel any ill will towards him. I just want to get him back.

“If it comes to a rematch I'll empty the tank early. I wouldn't be trying to go points. I'll be trying to just get it done and whatever happens, happens.”

*Pedro Boxing Club stage their annual summer open air show at their Rushton Road, Hackney HQ on Saturday (1pm).

Club chief James Cooke MBE features home club boxers on a 20-out bill with former champions in attendance.

Entry is £10 adults and £5 for under-15s.