Last year turned out to be a sensational year for WBO world champion Billy Joe Saunders.
The Londoner moved to Sheffield to team up with Dominic Ingle before producing two boxing masterclasses against Willie Monroe Jr and David Lemuix, respectively.
Floyd Mayweather led the plaudits after Saunders’ most recent performance in Canada and boxing coach Ben Davison admitted he wasn’t surprised.
He exclusively told World Boxing News: “It was a fantastic performance. I’ve said for a very long time, the bigger the test you put Billy Joe in, the better the performance and the best you’ll see in him.
“But that’s not the best, there’s a lot more to come. Billy Joe has been out in Spain with us and he’s looking red hot. He’s in a fantastic place mentally, physically, emotionally and Dominic Ingle has done a fantastic job with him.
“His biggest test is staying up for it in the small fights, but once he gets the big test with one of the big boys in Canelo or Golovkin then you’ll see the best of Billy Joe.”
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin look set to contest a rematch in May following a controversial draw in Vegas from September.
Saunders will be waiting in the wings, hoping that he can finally land the huge unification fight he’s craved for so long.
Tyson Fury’s new coach also works alongside Saunders, and is confident of the outcome should he meet the winner.
Analysing each other their styles, he added: “He’s all wrong for the pair of them.
“GGG is aging, getting a little older and certainly isn’t getting younger. He’s coming off from a couple of big fights which take it out of an older fighter like himself. He definitely doesn’t want to be chasing a fresh, young, slick southpaw in the ring like Billy Joe, getting his face jabbed off.
“Canelo’s a bit younger, a bit fresher, a good puncher, but there’s a few very slight more attributes that Billy Joe has that Canelo definitely won’t be able to handle but I’m not going to reveal.
“A happy fighter is a dangerous fighter and Billy Joe is in a good place. He’s always had that ability and I have seen it a thousand times in the gym – performances like that and ability wise. I remember back in the Jarrod Fletcher fight for the commonwealth title it was a big test, tough fight to take on early in his career and not everyone was certain Billy Joe was going to win that fight. He won by TKO in the second round.
“When he is under the cosh, that’s when you see the best of him. Greg Marriot is doing a fantastic job with him and has made a world of difference, keeping the strength and making weight easier has certainly helped massively,” he conclude
Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95