Billy Joe Saunders has insisted that a victory over David Lemieux in Quebec this weekend will guarantee him a super fight against one of boxing’s biggest names.
WBO world middleweight champion Saunders has been chasing a showdown against 160lb kingpin Gennady Golovkin and superstar Canelo Alvarez for some time.
And the Hatfield native (25-0, 12KO) believes a successful title defence against hometown hero Lemieux (38-3, 33KO) at Place Bell, Laval on Saturday night, live on BoxNation in the UK and Ireland and on HBO across the Atlantic, will seal the deal.
Golden Boy promote this weekend’s bout and with Oscar De La Hoya’s promotional outfit also backing Canelo, a confident Saunders claimed at Thursday’s final pre-fight press conference that he will stay in Canada to agree terms to fight the Mexican once he beats Lemieux.
The WBO champ later added: “It’s a big step towards Golovkin and Canelo for me – the last step towards them in my eyes – so I’m ready to rock ’n’ roll.”
Reiterating his offer of a $500,000 (charity) side bet to Lemieux ahead of the bout at Thursday’s presser, MTK Global-backed Saunders insists he is not put out by the tight pre-fight odds as some bookies have only marginally priced the champion as the favourite.
“Not really because the way some are looking at it is that he’s the home fighter,” said Saunders on his rival. “For anyone who wants to make a few quid, I’ll be giving him a boxing lesson and then I’ll go home.
“But it doesn’t really matter. We saw that James DeGale was about 1/100 the other day and got beaten. We can’t really go on the bookies or anything else. We’ve just got to go on the way we’re feeling and our previous performances.
“He’s had a couple of good performances, I had a good performance last time out and I can only improve so hopefully that will happen and I’ll be champion after,” added the Frank Warren-promoted champion.