Billy Joe Saunders calls out the best after becoming a two-weight world champion
PUBLISHED: 13:06 19 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:06 19 May 2019
Billy Joe Saunders has sent out a defiant message to the big names after winning the WBO super-middleweight world title – I’m ready to fight you.
Both the 29-year old and promoter Frank Warren claimed that everyone was avoiding him, whether that is in his new category or his old middleweight one.
But the Hatfield man believes his success over Shefat Isufi at Stevenage Football Club, his second world title but first at the heavier weight, should make him a tasty opponent for any of the boxing world's big hitters.
He said: "I know on my day, as long as I am 100 per cent, there isn't a middleweight or super-middleweight that can beat me.
"At 29 I'm just coming into my prime. My fitness is there, my skills are there but I want the big fights.
"It gets frustrating when you are at this level and you know how good you are but you aren't let loose with those good fighters.
"I feel like I've put myself in a position with this move and becoming world super-middleweight champion to get those fights.
"I'll have a week off but then I'll be back in the gym and willing to go for a big fight."
He said Saul Canelo Alvarez at super-middleweight would be his ideal next opponent but admitted he's not fussy.
"[Chris] Eubank can be on the radar but on my terms," he said. "Callum [Smith] is a good fighter and he would step up and have the fight. "He'll put it on the line. I would love to put myself against him.
"Any world champion deserves respect and I respect them all but I'm willing to fight them all.
"I'm not out of my depth with any super-middleweight or middleweight on the planet."
The fight against Isufi went the distance with Saunders claiming a unanimous points decision from all three judges.
But even though it was plain sailing for the most part, there was one momentary wobble when he was caught with a solid shot at the start of the sixth round.
That, according to Saunders, is just part of boxing.
He said: "You can't walk in the rain without getting wet.
"For the first five rounds I was just doing what I wanted to do. I got careless.
"He caught me with a good shot but you have to go through those experiences at this level.
"I took three or four and I never normally do that but when you get complacent and lazy that's what happens."
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