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Billy-Joe Saunders vs John Ryder at the Copper Box this Saturday

A pair of fighters who learned the boxing basics at Cheshunt Amateur Boxing Club face big fights on Saturday night.
Billy-Joe Saunders defends his British middleweight championship against John Ryder at the Copper Box, while in Fareham on the south coast, Phil Gill is also in title action.

He battles local crowd-pleaser Floyd Moore for the vacant British Masters light-welterweight strap.

Saunders and Gill both learned to box at Cheshunt Amateur Club – and now face the biggest fights of their professional careers.

Saunders hopes beating Ryder will secure a crack at WBO world champion Peter Quillin – and Gill knows victory over Moore will open the door to a clash for the Southern Area title.

“I’ve known Billy-Joe since he was a kid,” said Gill.

“He was a veteran by the time I started going to the gym – and he’s seven years younger than me !
“He used to beat me up when he was 13 years-old.

“We always knew Billy-Joe was special.

“We have a good set up in Cheshunt with Paul Rees training and Mickey Helliet managing us. So far myself, Joe Smyth, Elliott Matthews, Ashley Sexton and Charlie Hoy have come from that set up and we all follow each other.”

Gill says he and trainer Rees have figured out how to beat Moore.

“I know what I’m going to do and I know it’s going to be enough to beat him,” said Gill.

“The basics will be enough to beat him, but if I have to stand there and fight him I will.

“I think the only way he can beat me is to land a big shot and I expect him to come out fast.

“But it can hurt when you just go forward all the time.

“I’ve learned that and now I can bring different things to the ring.

“I’ve kept my head down, my mouth shut and trained really hard. I’m not putting myself under any pressure. I’m just going to go there and do the business.”

Tickets for the show in Fareham are available from 07817-594053.