Video: Billy Joe looking to Finnish them off

PUBLISHED: 10:57 19 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:52 26 October 2009

WHTimes reporter John Hutchinson talks to Olympic medal hopeful Billy Joe Saunders at his home boxing gym in Hoddesdon HARD-HITTING Hatfield boxer Billy Joe Saunders is to step up his Beijing training with a tournament scheduled in Finland later this wee

WHTimes reporter John Hutchinson talks to Olympic medal hopeful Billy Joe Saunders at his home boxing gym in Hoddesdon

HARD-HITTING Hatfield boxer Billy Joe Saunders is to step up his Beijing training with a tournament scheduled in Finland later this week.

The 19-year-old fighter will fly out to Scandinavia on Thursday and he is hoping it will be a good workout in preparation for the 2008 Olympics in China.

He said: "It's certainly good practice for the Olympics, and the stuff I have been working on with my coach Danny Hoy should make it a worthwhile trip out there.

"Obviously just like with any fight, I'll be going to win, but I definitely see it as a chance to try some new things out, and get back into the ring."

The Herts hero's coach, Danny Hoy, believes the bouts in Finland should be looked at as a good chance for Billy Joe to get some decent sparring under his belt.

He said: "He will be fighting boys he has boxed before, so it is a good chance to try some new things, and get back into swing of things.

"However, I don't really want Billy Joe to show his best in a way, because with the Olympics coming up, we can't afford to give too much away.

"It's a good chance though to see how his progression is coming on."

The event is organised through the Olympic Committee, with Saunders flying out with other GB amateurs who have qualified for Beijing, under the stewardship of top coach Terry Edwards.

And the Hatfield welterweight believes winning the tournament is well within his reach.

"I will probably get about four fights and even though I know I can't go all out, I am still pretty confident of getting the gold medal," he added.

And the action for the 19-year-old fighter does not stop there, with him expecting to be in the Great Britain team for a tasty encounter against Cuba, due to be shown on BBC1 on Saturday, May 31.

Saunders added: "That will be a really good test, because we all know how good the amateurs from Cuba are.

"Again, it will be excellent preparation for the Olympics, and also one I am really looking forward to."

Then at the end of June, Billy Joe will be competing in an EU amateur boxing tournament to be held in Poland.

It's going to be a hectic few months in the lead up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, with the Herts fighter already training four times a week with the Team GB camp in Sheffield.


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