CHRIS Billam-Smith is ready to prove he is the "best of the rest" of the Brits in the cruiserweight division as he gears up for his first Commonwealth title defence.

It was announced this week that the Bournemouth boxer will return to the ring to take on unbeaten Welshman Nathan Thorley (14-0) at Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena on May 9, having won the belt with a brutal stoppage of Craig Glover in Liverpool late last year.

And while he is keen not to take his eye off the Thorley clash, Billam-Smith admits he is targeting more belts in the division and hopes to set up a rematch with Richard Riakporhe, the only man to inflict defeat on The Gentleman so far in his professional career.

Speaking to Sky Sports at a press conference today ahead of his clash with Thorley, Billam-Smith said: "Obviously all eyes are on May 9 first. You can't overlook anyone.

"Yes, he (Thorley) might not be a big name but he's an undefeated cruiserweight so I can't take my eye off the ball. But obviously you want to have goals and the goal is a rematch with Richard eventually.

"There's the British, the European vacated, once Lawrence (Okolie) wins his world title against (Kryzystof) Glowacki, so there's belts that are there to win alongside this Commonwealth one. The cruiserweight division at the moment in Britain is exciting and I'm glad to be involved in it.

"At the moment it's a best of the rest sort of thing after Lawrence because Lawrence has progressed really well and he's going to be world champion by the summer hopefully so it's just to find out who is the best of the rest and I believe that's me."