Billy Joe KO'd by foot injury
PUBLISHED: 12:28 25 April 2008 | UPDATED: 22:22 26 October 2009
OLYMPIC medal hopeful Billy Joe Saunders has been left unable to Finnish his opponents – after an Achilles injury put a stop to his appearance in a Scandinavian boxing event. The 19-year-old Times Territory talent was due to fly out on to Finland on Thu
OLYMPIC medal hopeful Billy Joe Saunders has been left unable to "Finnish" his opponents - after an Achilles injury put a stop to his appearance in a Scandinavian boxing event.
The 19-year-old Times Territory talent was due to fly out on to Finland on Thursday.
However, he sustained a painful heel injury during training on Tuesday, which put an end to his dreams of yet another boxing gold.
"I was very confident of going over there and getting the gold, even though it wouldn't have been best to showcase all my talents, with Olympic scouts being there," said the Hatfield fighter.
"It would have been a good opportunity to try new things, and I'm gutted I couldn't travel."
Following the injury, Billy Joe was assessed by the GB team doctor, who advised him not to aggravate the injury even more, and to stay at home and rest.
Welterweight Saunders was frustrated with the setback, but has said the pain is starting to ease and he should be back fully fit for the forthcoming home international against Cuba, to be shown on BBC1 on Saturday, May 31.
Saunders told WHTimes reporter John Hutchinson: "If you snap your Achilles you could be out for eight weeks, and then you're way behind in your training schedule, so it was definitely best to let the injury calm down.
"When it first happened it was really painful, and I kind of knew I wouldn't be able to compete in Finland.
"But I'm starting to walk on it again now and should be back in training on Monday."
Saunders has received good support from his family in Hatfield and team of coaches after feeling down about missing out on the chance of more ring experience, but knows it was the most sensible decision.
And he believes the biggest challenge will be to get back into the swing of things with regards to getting down to his optimum weight.
The Hatfield hitter said: "The weight has been coming off since I last spoke with you, but as with any injury, it could have gone back on again.
"So I will have to step it up when I get back training, and work hard on getting those few extra kilos off."
Billy Joe secured his place at the 2008 Beijing Games by winning a bronze medal at the European qualifying tournament in Pescara, Italy, last month and he will be hoping to ease himself back into training as he looks towards Olympic success.
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