Middleweight star Billy Joe Saunders says he cut through unbeaten Emanuele Blandamura for the European title and then he wants WBO king Peter Quillin.
Hatfield ace Saunders, the British, Commonwealth and WBO International Champion, faces Italian Blandamura at Manchester’s Phones 4 U Arena on Saturday 26th July.
Saunders v Blandamura features as chief support to the massive heavyweight showdown between Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury, plus Derry Mathews defending his British Lightweight title against Terry Flanagan and Liam Walsh’s British Super-Featherweight title challenge, live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/HD 490 and Virgin Ch. 546).
The 24-year-old is undefeated in 19 fights and is excited to be facing his third unbeaten opponent in a row, having already claimed the scalps of rivals John Ryder and Gary O’Sullivan.
Although he’s focused on Blandamura, the prospect of a potential showdown against unbeaten American Quillin for the world title is motivating Saunders to put on a career best performance.
“Every fight is crucial in my career and now that I’m within touching distance of a world title fight the pressure is on,” Said traveller Saunders.
“Of course, Blandamura is the only thing on my mind at the moment, but I know that I will have to put on a class performance to show that I’m ready to fight Quillin for the world title next. That’s the golden carrot for me, I’ve got to shine on the night and show I’m the best out there. Quillin is there for me to beat and I reckon he’s the most beatable of the champions. The way he fights will suit my style and I’d beat him 100 percent and I’d fight him anywhere, in his backyard or even a stable!.”
“Blandamura is a good fighter, he’s undefeated, and I give him respect for coming over here to fight, but he’s on for a hiding against me. I’ve seen what he’s said about me not being anything special, but he’ll find out on the night what I’m all about. Nothing gears me up for a fight more than when an opponent slates me and this guy has really riled me. He’s 34, ten years older than me, and he’ll feel it when I start piling the pressure on him. Will his old legs be able to handle a young fighter approaching his prime like me? He’ll buckle when I really lay it on him, but I look forward to seeing how long he lasts,”
“Claiming his 0 is another big factor for me. After beating Ryder and O’Sullivan, claiming the third unbeaten record is exciting for me. It shows that I’m not afraid to meet another undefeated fighter and I’ll put everything on the line to prove that I’m the best. Hopefully Quillin will be the fourth.”
Promoter Frank Warren added, “There’s a lot riding on this for Billy. It’s not just about the fight, it’s about the future. If he beats Blandamura then he’ll be in prime position for WBO Champion Quillin. I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves as Blandamura is a big fight for Billy. The Italian is tough, experienced, undefeated and he’s not afraid to travel, as his last fight in Germany proved. It’s now up to Billy to step up and show what he’s got and do the business against Blandamura on the night.”
Tickets are available now, priced from £50, through Eventim on 0844 249 1000 or eventim.co.uk