Heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury is expecting a gruelling war when Andy Lee and Billy Joe Saunders share the ring this Saturday night. The newly crowned unified champion, who dethroned long time king Wladimir Klitschko last month, believes both men will leave no stone unturned after their background has made them ‘bred to fight’.
Like Fury, the pair are from a travelling background, with the Manchester ace tipping the middleweight world title fight, exclusively live on BoxNation, to be one to remember.
“When two travellers get into the ring what you’re going to have is a real hard and tough fight. No one is going to be conned or fooled because both Andy Lee and Billy Joe have been bred to fight,” said Fury.
“They’ve been raised as real men and I expect them to go out there and produce a great fight. Billy Joe is the better technical boxer out of the two but Andy has the punching power, so it’s a well balanced fight,” he said.
The 27-year-old undefeated fighter is leaning towards a Saunders win, but is well aware of the threat WBO champion Lee possesses.
He has warned the Hatfield man he cannot lose focus like he did when letting Chris Eubank Jr back into their fight last year, a matchup Saunders was cruising in before his arch-rival pulled it back on the scorecards to eventually lose a narrow split decision.
“If Billy can box the right fight and make sure he concentrates throughout the whole 12 rounds then he can win the fight,” said Fury.
“He can’t allow himself to switch off and let Andy back into the fight like he’s done a few times, like he did in the Eubank Jr fight.
“Andy is a superior and more experienced fighter than Eubank Jr so he will definitely capitalise if he does switch off,” he said.
Fury also believes that alongside himself both men are setting the trend as positive role models for the travelling community.
“It’s great to see travellers becoming world champions because we’re the best fighters in the world. Hopefully I’ve set the mark for other traveller fighters by becoming world champion and I know Andy and Billy Joe are going to look to do a similar thing,” said Fury.
“Neither guy is going to take a back step and will leave it all in the ring so it’s a fight I’m really looking forward to seeing on Saturday.”
He was also pleased to hear that Saunders won a big bet after backing him to win the heavyweight world title last month in Dusseldorf.
“I’m pleased Billy Joe won £20,000 betting on me to win – it shows he’s an intelligent man who knows boxing! No one thought that I could become champion of the world except a handful of people.
“It feels good to prove so many wrong and nice that Billy Joe put his money where his mouth was and got rewarded for it,” said Fury.
Remaining tickets for Andy Lee vs Billy Joe Saunders at the Manchester Arena this Saturday are available from frankwarren.com. Or watch exclusively live on BoxNation (Sky 437/490HD, Virgin 525, Freeview 255, TalkTalk 415, online or app). Visit boxnation.com to subscribe.