Billy Joe Saunders not looking past Gary O'Sullivan fight
PUBLISHED: 16:26 09 July 2013 | UPDATED: 16:26 09 July 2013
BILLY Joe Saunders has angrily dismissed any notion of taking his next opponent Gary O'Sullivan lightly.
Much of the talk in boxing circles continues to focus on Saunders’ British middleweight title defence against John Ryder in September which is scheduled to headline the first ever boxing show at the Olympic Copperbox.
But more pressing is the Hatfield man’s challenge for the WBO International Middlweight Title against Northern Ireland’s O’Sullivan on July 20 at Wembley Arena.
A victory will not only give Saunders another title, but also importantly a world ranking.
“If Gary O’Sullivan thinks I am taking him lightly on July 20 he is in for a big, big shock,” said the 23-year-old from Hatfield.
“I’m taking O’Sullivan very serious. I want this belt so bad and this world ranking so bad because I know it’s the next step where I need to be in my career.
“At the minute I’m not worried about the John Ryder fight, as far as I am concerned I’m going to fight O’Sullivan, have a break for as long as Jimmy Tibbs says, then get back and train again for John.
“I’m lining these two unbeaten fighters up for a reason, for one I’m lining O’Sullivan up for his world ranking, not because I am looking past anyone.
“Out of the two, I rate O’Sullivan as the better fighter, so I am training very hard for him and will put all the work in, I am peaking now and ready to go.”
O’Sullivan has gone to press saying that he will KO Saunders in the battle of the unbeaten fighters. This is not an option for Saunders.
“Gary is going to come to fight, he’s got his title he won, but in this game there are levels, and I am a level above him.
“I think he knows that. I know the gameplan they are going to use, come forward, rugged and think I’m going to tire out but that’s definitely not going to be the case.
“I’ve been sparring big light heavyweights in this camp and knocking them out, so I’m punching harder than ever. Everything has gone to plan, and everything will go to plan on the night aswell.
“A lot of people think they are going to bully or pressure me, but I’m a world class fighter.
“On July 20 we will see who takes a backward step. I’ve been sparring light heavyweights in the gym and knocking them out.
“He’s been saying he’s going to knock me out in five rounds. We’ll see who gets knocked out, we’ll see who takes a backward step on July 20.”
The Wembley Arena show is headlined by Dereck Chisora as he takes on undefeated American Malik Scott.
Tickets, priced at £40, £50, £70, £100 and £150 are available now from Eventim on 0844 249 1000 or www.eventim.co.uk and Wembley Arena on 0844 815 0815 or www.wembleyarena.co.uk
The show will be televised live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546). Join at www.boxnation.com