EXCLUSIVE: ‘I want big fights, but no more chasing Gennady Golovkin’ – says Billy Joe Saunders

Joe Hewlett 11/07/2018

Ed Mulholland / Vincent Ethier

Billy Joe Saunders has insisted he won’t waste any more time hunting down opponents after missing out yet again on a lucrative fight against Gennady Golovkin.

The WBO king recently spoke to WBN about his interest in a potential showdown with two-time IBF champion James DeGale and said he is now focusing his intentions on fights that will gain huge audiences.

“I feel that as a 28-year-old, I’ve accomplished a lot of good things in boxing, I’ve done the pinnacle in the amateurs, I’ve reached the top as a professional, but I still want them fights where 40,000 people turn up,” Saunders exclusively told World Boxing News.

“That’s the buzz I’m looking for, I want the big money fights and the big buzz fights not fighting in front of 2,000 people in America or at the Copper Box against mandatory opponents.

“The David Lemieux performance may have me on the front foot but that’s behind me and I’m ready to rock ‘n’ roll but none of the big boys want to fight me.

“I’ve been looking at the GGG fight since about 2016 and now we’re in 2018 – he hasn’t got the IBF title now, so it wouldn’t be a unification fight, but at the end of the day he just won’t fight me. I’m not going to be chasing anybody else now,” he added.

GGG and Canelo Alvarez fought last September with the fight ended in a draw before their highly anticipated rematch was cancelled due to Alvarez failing a drugs test.

The pair will now on September 15 at the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, with the WBA (Super), WBC and IBO titles on the line.

Asked to give a prediction, Saunders said: “I believe GGG definitely won the first fight and I think he’ll win the second one on a points decision.”

Alvarez, who tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol in March, was given a six-month ban despite claims of it being down to contaminated meat.

Saunders didn’t stay on the fence whilst giving his opinion of the Mexican, as he concluded: “I know that he’s a drug cheat, I was a fan but once that happened he lost complete respect from myself and the rest of the boxing world.

“He will never ever get it back and will always be classed as a drugs cheat in my opinion and he should be ashamed of himself,” said Saunders.

Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95