GEORGE DAVEY believes that the step up in opposition will bring out his best performance.

The York boxer makes his long-awaited return to the ring tomorrow evening when he faces Netherlands-born Jeff Thomas over four rounds at London’s prestigious York Hall.

The fight, which will be broadcast live on BT Sport on the undercard to unified super-lightweight world champion Josh Taylor’s title defence against Apinun Khongsong, will be Davey’s first since November due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite the lengthy lay-off, the super-welterweight makes a fairly sizeable step up in the quality of his opponent in just his third professional bout.

Thomas boasts 12 wins from his 22 paid contests and, at 38, has the advantage in experience over Davey. He’s suffered defeats in just two of his last eight fights.

Regardless, Davey is confident that he’ll be able to come out on top and kickstart his disrupted career in the professional ranks.

“It’s what we want, Jeff Thomas has got 12 wins and seven losses and he’s a big step up,” Davey told the Queensbury Promotions YouTube channel.

“But that’s what we want. We want that step up and that test.

“We want to go there and win and then move onto someone even better next time. We’re ready for it.

“You’re going to see me win, that’s all you’re going to see!

“He’s going to bring the best out of me. We don’t want anyone that’s going to dance around, we want someone that is going to come at me, want to win and that’s going to bring the best performance out of me.”

Davey’s trainer Henry Wharton, a former three-time world title challenger, has been the one watching Thomas’ previous bouts rather than Davey.

“I haven’t done too much studying, that’s more for Henry,” the 22-year-old explained.

“He’ll study that and then he’ll tell me what we need to do in there.

“I don’t like to look at my opponent too much. I just listen to my coach and then go from there.”

Since signing with promoter Frank Warren, the Hall of Famer has delivered Davey spots on the undercards to world title contests for each fight.

Like his debut, this bout will be screen live on BT Sport, which brings some added pressure to deliver.

Davey added: “I’m not going to lie, it is a little bit overwhelming but we’re in this sport to try to be our best selves and if you don’t want to be on these big cards, then you’re in the wrong sport aren’t you?

“Everyone has told me that it is a big card and it is a great opportunity so I’ve just got to handle the situation just like I’ve handled both of my other two fights and we’ll be fine.”

Lockdown has provided Davey with a chance to work on his game, with so little fight cards being held during the pandemic.

He believes he’s improved on his game during his time out of the ring.

Davey said: “I’d like to think that I’ve improved! It has been a big fight for without a fight but maybe that’s been a blessing in disguise.

“We’ve had time to work on a lot of different things and I’ve been able to get stronger and get fitter.

“I think (this time) has been a good thing, in my opinion.”

“It’s been a good learning curve, since my last fight.

“I take every fight as it comes, learn from it and get better and keep winning, that’s the main thing.”