Boxing

UK Boxing: Billy Joe Saunders; Frankie Gavin; Paul Smith

Billy Joe Saunders is desperate to make up for loss ground after recovering from a hand injury. The Hertfordshire star has been out of action since May after picking up a knock in a points win over Andy Butlin. But now the 21-year-old is fully fit, and will be back in December. During his time out of the ring, Saunders has seen fellow 2008 Olympians James DeGale and Frankie Gavin make strides towards British titles. And now he wants to send out a statement of his own. "It's been a frustrating few months sitting on the sidelines," said Saunders..

"I was at Birmingham where both James and Frankie looked fantastic.

"I want to be in the same position as they are in, challenging for titles, and I don't feel too far away.

"My plan is to have a fight in December to shed some of the ring rust, then start boxing for belts in 2011.

"It looks like James and Frankie will be going for British titles in the next six months, and that's where I went to be as well.

"There are some really good young fighters coming through at the moment, and it is a very exciting time for the sport in the UK.

"I was really only a kid when I went to the Olympics, but I feel in the last two years I have really matured.

"I've always had a good professional style, and now I'm beginning to put some power on my punches titles cannot be very far away."


GAVIN TITLE HUNGRY

Hotshot Frankie Gavin wants to win the British and Commonwealth titles before the end of the year.

Gavin picked up his first professional title - the Irish light-welterweight crown - with an impressive stoppage of Michael Kelly last month in Birmingham.

Current British champion Lenny Daws hasn't fought since the summer, and Gavin says he will beat him.

"If I'm going to go all the way to the top then I need to beat the likes of Lenny Daws," he said.

"He is a decent domestic level fighter, but he's nothing special.

"I've been buzzing since I won the Irish title and I want the British and Commonwealth next.

"But although I'm proud of the belt because of my Irish heritage, the one every boxer wants to win is the British, and at the moment Daws has got a belt that I want."

Funtime Frankie is now unbeaten in eight fights, with seven early wins.

And he could feature as part of Warren's big December promotion.

"It is championship fights all the way for me now," said Gavin.

"I want to fight the best in the country, and then face the best in the world.

"I must be driving Frank mad because I keep ringing him and asking about title fights.

"But I know he will deliver, and I can't wait to get back in the ring."


BUG WAR FOR SMITH AND DAVID

Paul David today vowed to squash British super-middleweight champion Paul Smith "like a bug" in their Rumble in the Jungle press conference today.

The pair swapped insults after coming face to face with each other - and some creepy crawlies - at the BugWorld Experience on the Albert Dock.

David gets a shot at Smith on October 23 at the Liverpool Echo Arena.

And he said he would become the first man to stop him.

"Paul's nothing more than a brawler, and I'll expose him," said David.

"I'll out box him and then I'll knock him out. I'm going to squash him like a bug."

But Smith hit back by saying: "David has had a close encounter with some very dangerous creatures, but he won't be so lucky against me.

"I'm deadly in the boxing ring and he'll find that out.

"In boxing you are either the bug or the windscreen and unfortunately for David, he will be smashing into the windscreen on October 23 "

Smith, who has already made two defences of his Lonsdale belt, is keen to move on to world level by the end of the year.

"I want to get this defence out of the way and then think about winning a world title," he said.

"I will raise my game to any opponent, and I am confident I can win fights at the highest level."

Also appearing on the Echo card, will be Frank Warren's new star signing Paul Butler, as well as Commonwealth light-heavyweight champion Tony Bellew, and Smith's younger brother Liam.

"It's going to be a massive night of boxing up in Liverpool," said promoter Frank Warren.

"It's fast becoming the new Manchester when it comes to big fight nights, and if all the Liverpool boys keep on winning, then I'll keep on delivering the opportunities."

Tickets for "On the Waterfront" are priced at £40, £50, £80, £100 & £150 and are available from:

Echo Arena Box Office
0844 800 0400
www.echoarena.com

Ticketmaster
0844 844 0444
www.ticketmaster.co.uk

See Tickets
0871 220 0260
www.seetickets.com

Article posted on 04.10.2010



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