Chris Billam-Smith will be looking to make a first successful defence of his Commonwealth cruiserweight title when he takes on Nathan Thorley in the second week of Fight Camp on Friday evening. Will ‘The Gentleman’ extend his professional record to 12-1?
Road to Chris Billam-Smith v Nathan Thorley
Chris Billam-Smith is the current Commonwealth cruiserweight after stopping Craig Glover in the fifth-round bout for the vacant title back on November 23 2019. Billam-Smith felt he was robbed of the WBA Intercontinental cruiserweight just four months earlier when he lost a split decision to Richard Riakporhe. Billam-Smith refused to let that defeat – the only one of his professional career – derail him, and he showed everyone watching that he is a force to be reckoned with after knocking Glover down three times on the way to victory to be crowned champion. He comes up against a formidable opponent this week though in Nathan Thorley. The Welshman has won all of his 14 professional bouts with six of the coming by way of Knockout. Thorley has been taken the distance in his last two fights, with wins over Dmitrij Kalinovskij and Remigijus Ziausys. Granted, they were only four and six rounds respectively, but it was valuable time in the ring. This will be Thorley’s first ever time boxing 12 rounds, while Billam-Smith has only fought at this distance once.
Chris Billam-Smith v Nathan Thorley Predictions & Tips
Chris Billam-Smith is the less experienced of the two when it comes to actual fights, but he is the champion and is determined not to let it slip from his grasp at the first attempt. He showed against Glover that he can punch hard and is capable of knocking anyone down – nine of his 10 victories have come by way of Knockout. This will be the champions toughest test, but despite fighting three bouts less than Thorley, he will believe he will have had the tougher tests leading up to this fight. Thorley is unbeaten, but he has not fought past eight rounds and that could be a major factor if this fight ends up going into the latter rounds. Got to favour the champion in this one, both are talented fighter, but I think Billam-Smith is the harder puncher and if he catches Thorley with a left hook then it could be all over. Backing Billam-Smith to win this one with a seventh-round stoppage.
Chris Billam-Smith v Nathan Thorley Preview: Fighter Predictions
Nathan Thorley: “I’ve had one fight where my opponent was coming to win, and he got knocked out in the second round. 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. 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. 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.”