CHRIS Knowles says he cannot wait to compete on home soil for the first time in almost three years when he takes on Dillian White for the right to be England's premier K1 Muay Thai fighter this weekend.
Knowles is one of Britain's highest ranked super-heavyweight kickboxers and has been taking on opposition at his level in Europe and Asia, two continents where the sport is thriving.
The Rayners Lane martial artist has acknowledged that Red Dragons fighter White is one of Britain's hottest Muay Thai properties, but is confident of emerging victorious at Croydon's Fairfield Halls on Saturday.
"I know a lot about Dillian," said Knowles, who runs the Minotaur Thai boxing gym in Burnt Oak. "I like the way he fights but it will be nice to prove I'm still the best fighter in England."
To add extra spice to the clash, White beat Knowles' younger brother Lyndon 18 months ago but any talk of regaining family pride is quickly dismissed by the 28-year-old.
"He beat my brother, who had glandular fever at the time, and that is when Dillian really started working his way up," added Knowles. "But I can't afford any emotions to come into it otherwise I won't fight as well. I've just got to go out there and do a job."
Knowles, a former bouncer, trains nine times a week in and around coaching others and possesses a formidable record of 22 wins, two draws and one defeat.
Those victories include gold and silver at the International Federation of Muay Thai Amateur World Champion-ships and the British, English and European belts.
"I'm really looking forward to fighting in England again," commented Knowles, who last fought on these shores in November 2006. "I've got to get in there and do what I always do to the best of my ability."