Frank Warren looking for big things from Olympian Billy Joe as a pro

PUBLISHED: 16:57 13 January 2009 | UPDATED: 21:48 26 October 2009

Frank Warren with the Olympians, including Billy Joe Saunders

Frank Warren with the Olympians, including Billy Joe Saunders

HATFIELD boxer Billy Joe Saunders will make his professional debut at the Birmingham NIA, it was confirmed at a London press conference yesterday (Monday). Saunders will fight on the undercard of the Matt Skelton versus Martin Rogan Commonwealth heavyweig

Billy Joe Saunders with promoter Frank Warren

HATFIELD boxer Billy Joe Saunders will make his professional debut at the Birmingham NIA, it was confirmed at a London press conference yesterday (Monday).

Saunders will fight on the undercard of the Matt Skelton versus Martin Rogan Commonwealth heavyweight title fight along with Olympic gold medallist James DeGale and former amateur world champion Frankie Gavin on February 28.

Frank Warren, whose Sports Network stable fought long and hard to sign up 'The Olympians', believes the trio can make a big impact in the professional arena.

"I'm really looking forward to this," said the promoter, whose offices are based in Bircherley Green, Hertford.

"It is the start of a long journey for these boys making their way into the professional ranks, having all done extremely well in the amateurs and all with great pedigree behind them winning many tournaments and medals."

Saunders, whose family live at the Holwell traveller's site in Hatfield, will begin his pro career with a four-round fight with his opponent to be confirmed in due course.

The 19-year-old, who will box between light-middleweight and welterweight, said: "There's a big difference between amateurs and professionals, but my style will be ideal for the pros, so I'm really excited about making my debut."

Promoter Frank Warren later went on to describe Saunders as the "best young talent in the country".

Billy Joe has also decided to stick with Hoddesdon Boxing Academy coach Danny Hoy as he gets set for a busy 2009.

"Danny's a good trainer and an ideal coach for me," said the Herts hitter.

"We know each other really well and he knows how to work me, so I think it's really good."

Warren plans to announce opponents for his three Olympians next week, and also said that he is in negotiations with three television companies about securing rights to the shows.

If things go to plan, Warren will stage between six and eight shows this year up and down the country featuring Olympians DeGale, Saunders and Gavin.

Show promoter Warren was understandably excited by his new signings, arguing that they will go on to dominate both domestically and internationally.

"These three are very, very talented fighters and they all have a bright future ahead of them," he said.

For tickets, priced between £30 and £150, contact Ticket Factory on 0844 338 8000, Ticketmaster on 0844 847 2500 or Ticket Line on 0871 424 4444.

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