Exclusive: Saunders eyes Eubank Jr and Golovkin to round off 2016
Although not fond on planning ahead, WBO middleweight world champion Billy Joe Saunders has outlined who he would ideally like to face in his next three fights.
The 26-year old – who defeated Ireland’s Andy Lee to win the title back in December – already has his first defence scheduled against Ukraine’s Max Bursak at the Copper Box Arena on April 30.
Should Saunders (23- 0, 12 KO) overcome the test, there will again be calls for him to take on the division’s best in Gennady Golovkin and this time the newly crowned champion wants to answer those requests.
“I am happy with the Bursak fight as my first defence, all the big fighters have things planned – so I can’t complain,” Saunders said. “I know I should beat him, but I can’t overlook him. This Is a world title fight and he is going to be the best he has ever been.
“I want to make a statement in the fight, whether that be by stopping him or looking good boxing. I let my team choose my opponents and I just ask for someone who will test me and I believe Bursak will do that.”
Saunders is well aware that victory in April will lead to some much bigger fights both in magnitude and financially, with Golovkin potentially the biggest.
“It’s good to be out in April as it lets me fight three times this year and I want them to big fights. I know that I am out again in July on a big big show and it is a much easier time to get a stadium fight organised.
“My ideal plan would be to beat Bursak and then face either Eubank or Golovkin in the summer. If it’s Eubank first, then face Golovkin after and if it’s Golovkin first then I will face the next big name after that.
“I like to take each fight as it comes though; I don’t really like planning – boxing is a funny business. I like the money fights now and I know Golovkin in Wembley or another stadium is going to make a hell of a lot of money, so I’m looking forward to that. I’m not in boxing for one night, I’m in it to secure my families future,” Saunders added.
Golovkin’s team had offered Saunders a fight before, but the WBO champ was not happy with the terms of the deal.
He said: “Their team was not being fair with what they were offering. I need to have some things going my way, I’m a champion as well. He’s boxed in Monte Carlo before so why could he not come to England.
“I know it’s a fight if I took it I genuinely think I could win it. I have my eyes set on Golovkin; I want to fight the best and he is the best. No one is unbeatable. We always talk everyone up. If anyone’s to beat him, I am that man.
Matt Horan is a lead writer for WBN. Follow on Twitter @mhoran123