Billy Joe Saunders has revealed a touch of nerves regarding the nature of his performance one week on Saturday.
Saunders will bid to win the hearts of the Hertfordshire public when he fights for the first time in the county as a professional. He is seeking to become a two-weight world champion by claiming the vacant WBO world super middleweight title against the Albanian Shefat Isufi.
What Saunders hopes will be his crowning glory will take place in the middle of the pitch at the Lamex Stadium, home of Stevenage FC, and performing on home soil carries considerable appeal for the unbeaten – 27-0 – former WBO world middleweight champion.
“Most definitely. I think it has been a long time coming,” said the 29-year-old. “You see I have mostly boxed in London and been at home. But I’ve never boxed here and it is interesting because I believe I am going to get a very big following.
“I am very excited to be honest with you. Excited and nervous because it is no good fighting at a venue like this and performing like a pillock!
“I’ve got to put on a good performance, so I am looking to repeat the David Lemieux performance and get the win to make myself the No.1.”
To do that, the southpaw stylist will have to overcome the 27-3-2 Isufi, who is unbeaten at super middleweight after previously campaigning at cruiser and light heavy. Saunders insists he is not a threat to be taken lightly.
“Listen, a lot of people are looking at him and underestimating him a little bit. I am looking at him and I can, from studying him, see that what he does he does really well. He is not appealing on the eye, but he is better than he actually looks.
“He is obviously No.1 in the world for something. He’s got to be taken care of professionally. I have been working hard and I am going to get the job done.
“He is unbeaten at the weight and he has cemented his No.1 spot for a reason. I’ve got to take him seriously but, at the same time, it is hard not to look past him because I lost my world title without getting beat and I want to be world champion as quickly as I can.”
Billy Joe Saunders v Shefat Isufi headlines the bill at the Lamex Stadium, home of Stevenage FC. Unbeaten heavyweight Joe Joyce in the chief supporting contest against Alexander Ustinov.
Tickets can be purchased via borotickets.co.uk.
They are priced as below:
£250 – Hospitality
£150 – Pitch
£100 – Pitch
£75 – Pitch
£50 – Stand
£40 – Stand