BILLY Joe Saunders is confident he will challenge Andy Lee for the WBO middleweight title this Summer and is similarly confident he will emerge victorious.
The European Champion is mandatory for Lee’s strap and having stepped aside to allow the Limerick man fight Peter Quillin on April 11 and he wants to evoke his status and fight the champ this Summer.
Unlike Lee, Saunders hasn’t mixed it at World level as of yet, but he believes his freshness will counter balance the Adam Booth trained fighters experience.
Some argue the Frank Warren fighter having twice passed up chances to challenge for the title must lack confidence in his ability to compete at the highest level, but Saunders suggests Lee is on the slide whilst selling himself as the hungry young challenger.
Of the possible all southpaw battle Saunders said, “Andy Lee is strong and game but he’s been on the floor in his last three fights and is coming to the end. He’s at a point where he’s cashing in and I don’t blame him for that but I’m too fresh for him.
“His luck has got to run out some time and I’m the man to take his title. He’s got a lot of miles on the clock, unlike, say, [Gennady] Golovkin, who is still young and fresh as a champion.”
“Andy Lee is a tough fella and he isn’t beat until the final bell. He’s also a gentleman but this is a sport and I want that belt. Whether it takes one round or 12, I will definitely be world champion when it’s over.”
Saunders watched Quillin versus Lee last weekend knowing his next fight was most likely going to be against the former Olympian after the title wasn’t on the line because ‘Kid Chocolate’ failed to make weight. He claimed a draw was a fair result but labelled a bout most found intriguing ‘boring’.
“I thought Andy Lee did well to get a draw in America when he’d been dropped a couple of times,” he continued. “The fight had moments of excitement but it was generally boring because there were long periods where neither man would commit. If Quillin had been busier, he could have nicked it but he wasn’t and I thought a draw was a fair result.”