Saunders: It’s going to take a lot to win the belt from Lee

Billy Joe Saunders admits he faces a mammoth task to dethrone Andy Lee of his WBO middleweight title on September 19 as the Briton fights for his first world championship in Ireland.

The 25 year-old travels to the Emerald Isle to challenge big-punching Lee on his home turf at Thormond Park, and although he feels at home in Ireland, Saunders knows that it will take all his skills and drive to get the job done on the night.

“I’m in his backyard and he’s got the home support, but when I pulled up to the stadium, I got a homely feeling straight away. I’ve boxed in Ireland seven times now with seven wins and I aim to keep it going,” said Saunders.

“It’s going to take a lot to take the belt, but I’m going to give it my all. Andy’s the same as me and in the end it’s going to come down to heart, determination and grit,” he added.

London-born Saunders claimed his chance by defeating arch-rival Chris Eubank Jr last November and knows victory could set up a lucrative rematch between the two.

Should the current European champion add the WBO belt to his haul, massive doors would then open for potential unifications against the likes of Gennady Golovkin and Danny Jacobs