WORLD Champion Chris Billam-Smith is open to fighting IBF cruiserweight belt holder Jai Opetaia after the Australian staked a claim for The Gentleman’s WBO title.

Billam-Smith defeated former gym-mate Lawrence Okolie in front of a packed Vitality Stadium back in May to claim the WBO’s cruiserweight belt.

Opetaia successfully carried out a voluntary defence of his IBF crown against Jordan Thompson on Sunday evening, with the Aussie discussing his next steps in the aftermath of the bout.

“I want that WBO belt around my waist,” Opetaia shared immediately after his fight at Wembley Arena.

“It’s a fight I really want. Respect to Chris Billam-Smith but there can only be one king of the cruiserweight division and that’s me.”

Billam-Smith himself was in attendance on Sunday night, watching on as part of BBC Radio 5Live’s commentary team.

The Gentleman shared: “He said that he (Opetaia) wants the fight and that he wants the WBO title.

“Eddie (Hearn, Opetaia’s promoter) was telling me in the week that it’s a family reason, I think it’s his grandpa who apparently loves the WBO - it’s his favourite.

“So he’s got a lot of motivation behind that belt.

“But that’s my belt and it’ll staying (here).

“That’s a fight I’ve been trying to make, before I even had the Lawrence (Okolie) fight.

“You’ve got to play to your own strengths. My strengths are my toughness and my workrate.

“He’s not as big or as tall as me. He’s a fantastic fighter but I’ll be looking to play to my strengths.”

But any potential meeting is complicated by both champions’ obligations in regards to their own belts.

Okolie has a rematch clause to take on Billam-Smith, whilst Opetaia will likely have to take on Latvian Mairis Briedis in a mandatory defence of his belt.

Billam-Smith intends on fighting this November, although no opponent has been confirmed.

He has previously shared that Okolie or Polish cruiserweight Mateusz Masternak are his most likely opponents.