World champion Billy Joe Saunders backs Nick Blackwell to defeat Chris Eubank Jnr in British title clash

PUBLISHED: 11:16 24 March 2016 | UPDATED: 11:16 24 March 2016

Billy Joe Saunders on his way to victory over Chris Eubank Jnr in 2014. Picture Danny Loo

Billy Joe Saunders on his way to victory over Chris Eubank Jnr in 2014. Picture Danny Loo

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WBO world middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders has thrown his support behind Nick Blackwell ahead of his British title defence against Chris Eubank Jnr on Saturday night.

Billy Joe Saunders after being named British champion by beating Nick Blackwell in 2012. Picture by Danny LooBilly Joe Saunders after being named British champion by beating Nick Blackwell in 2012. Picture by Danny Loo

Hatfield’s Saunders beat Blackwell in December 2012 on unanimous points decision to claim the British title, the Herts fighter went on to then beat Eubank Jnr, on a split points decision, in November 2014.

Current British champion Blackwell and Eubank Jnr will go head to head this weekend at the SSE Arena, Wembley.

Saunders, who vacated the belt on his way to a world title, will be appearing as a studio guest on Channel 5’s live coverage of the showdown.

The undefeated Hatfield star is hoping to witness Eubank Jr’s second career loss.

“I can’t say I’m too excited about seeing his ugly face,” he said.

“I’m going to be supporting Nick Blackwell and I hope he knocks Eubank out spark cold.

“Nick is probably one of the nicest blokes I’ve met in boxing, I’ve shared the ring with him and he’s a tough fighter.

“He’s a very respectful kid and you don’t see him knocking out beginners in sparring,” Saunders added.

Eubank passed up a shot at WBA world champion Daniel Jacobs in order to take on Blackwell, 25.

The Brighton middleweight has completely written off Blackwell’s chances and announced beating him would be for the good of British boxing; Saunders disagrees.

Saunders, who is preparing for the first defence of his WBO world middleweight title against Max Bursak on Saturday, April 30 at the Copper Box Arena, said: “The best result is for Nick to do his talking in the ring.

“He’s got a very good chance of beating him.

“Eubank struggles at the weight and as we saw against Spike [O’Sullivan in December 2015] he was dying out and got hurt; he could be in trouble on Saturday.

“If Blackwell can get himself in the fight for the first four or five rounds he’s in with a good chance of winning.

“He’s got a good work rate and I expect him to come on strong in the second half.”

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