BILLY Joe Saunders believes ‘home’ advantage will sway a close World title fight between Andy Lee and Matt Korobov the way of the Russian fighting out of America.
Saunders is mandatory for the winner of the Las Vegas hosted WBO middleweight world title decider, indeed Ireland’s Lee got the chance to fight the Russian because Saunders opted to trade leather with Chris Eubank Jr rather than fight Korobov for the vacant strap.
And it the European, British and Commonwealth middleweight belt holder thinks he will challenge Korobov rather than Lee next year.
Saunders amateur career ran parallel with then exceptional amateur Korobov and he admits he was a fan of the Russian. However, he believes the undefeated fighter hasn’t adapted to the pro game and stressed a busy fighter will cause him problems.
The Frank Warren promoted fighter also holds respect for Limerick’s Lee and says the former World champ can compete with the two time World amateur champ, but believes as Korobov is fighting out of the home corner he will win a close decision.
“It’s going to be very interesting to watch. I expect both to give a little bit extra from what they’ve shown before as a world title is on the line,” Saunders told Boxnation.
“I’m anticipating something similar to my fight with Eubank Jr, a fight of two halves. Andy’s quite a big underdog (11-4 against) but I definitely see him being in the fight for the first four rounds or so. He’s a tall, upright southpaw. But after that I expect Korobov to start to take over. He can punch.
“It’s not 100% one way or the other and my head keeps chopping and changing but I edge towards Korobov on a close points decision. It’ll be very tight but he’s effectively got home advantage.”