Hatfield boxer Billy Joe's ready to go the distance

TOP boxing prospect Billy Joe Saunders makes his professional debut this weekend. But the Hatfield teenager says he s ready to start campaigning over the championship distance straight away. The 19-year-old fighter will feature on a blockbuster Olympian c

TOP boxing prospect Billy Joe Saunders makes his professional debut this weekend.

But the Hatfield teenager says he's ready to start campaigning over the championship distance straight away.

The 19-year-old fighter will feature on a blockbuster Olympian card at the NIA in Birmingham on Saturday night.

Billy Joe will face former Hungarian lightweight champion Attila Molnar over four rounds live on Sky Sports.


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But the confident teenager, who went to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, insists that he could easily fight three times that distance after teaming up with renowned trainer Jimmy Tibbs.

He looked in excellent shape today (Monday) during a media workout at the Peacock Gym in London's East End.

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"I thought I was fit when I went to the Olympics last year," said Saunders, who lives on the Holwell travellers' site on the A414.

"But the work that Jimmy has been giving me to do has taken me to another level.

"I don't think I've ever worked so hard in my life. Fighting on Saturday night is going to be the easy bit!"

Saunders has enjoyed quality sparring before his professional debut - fellow 2008 Olympians DeGale and Frankie Gavin also feature on Saturday's bill - and has benefited from the advice of experienced Tibbs.

"Jimmy has been around boxing for years, so he knows what he's talking about," said Saunders.

"I feel like I've improved 100 per cent in the few weeks that I've been with him.

"He's really whipped me into shape and I could easily go 12 rounds on Saturday night if I was asked to."

Tickets, priced at �30, �50, �100 and �150, are available from Ticket Factory on 0844 338 8000.

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