Nathan Thorley says he will announce himself to the Cruiserweight scene when he faces Commonwealth champion Chris Billam-Smith on Friday.
The unbeaten pair collide in a rescheduled clash on week two of Matchroom’s ‘Fight Camp’ series, as Eddie Hearn stages his first shows in almost five months since the COVID-19 pandemic, in the gardens of Matchroom HQ.
‘Thunder’ has two wins since his move up to Cruiserweight from Light-Heavyweight, where he won the Welsh Area title and admits he is relishing a step-up in class against Billam-Smith, who he was set to face in May.
“I’ve had one fight where my opponent was coming to win, and he got knocked out in the second round,” Thorley said.
“I’m taking nothing away from Jermaine Asare, he’s a tidy fighter. After that I went back to fighting journeymen again – opponents who are only trying to survive in there.
“That’s not what I want out of this sport. I want to fight the best to be the best.
Billam-Smith makes a first defence of the Commonwealth strap he claimed in a fifth round stoppage victory over Craig Glover in Liverpool last November.
The Bournemouth man is hopeful of avenging his sole professional defeat to now British champion Richard Riakporhe and Thorley, who has been sparring former Cruiserweight World champion Enzo Maccarinelli, believes he has the perfect opportunity to launch his assault on the domestic scene.
“The division is massive at the moment, it never used to be, but now there’s plenty of fights out there for me that I want to take and will take.
“Chris is a good fighter. He’s got a good shot selection to the body and head.
“He’s a fit, strong, physical guy so I’ve got my work cut out. It’s not going to be an easy night. I’m really looking forward to getting in the ring with him.
— Enzo Maccarinelli (@theRealEnzoMac) July 13, 2020
“I was never going to pass at this opportunity. This is my breakthrough night.
“Everyone that I’ve fought or sparred with have always said I’m big and awkward. He’ll have his work cut out too.
“I’m not coming in to just fall down. I’m coming in to win. I will have my hand raised.”