Billy Joe Saunders eyes James DeGale super-middleweight challenge

Billy Joe Saunders
Action Images/Peter Cziborra
Rather than wait for Gennady Golovkin, Billy Joe Saunders would take on former team-mate James DeGale for the IBF super-middleweight crown. John Dennen reports

WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders wants the big fights now. “I’m 28, in my prime, coming up to 30, now I want to see how good I am,” he says.

But with Gennady Golovkin, having cleared the Vanes Martirosyan hurdle on Saturday, likely to be tied up with the possibility of fighting Canelo Alvarez in September, Saunders may not get the major fight he craves.

“I won’t chase them. I won’t waste my time no more,” the WBO champion said. “If he [Golovkin] wants to fight, I’ll fight. I’ll fight anybody, anybody at all, middleweight to super-middleweight I’ll fight them.”

Saunders fights Martin Murray in June. Even victory there is unlikely to speed him towards “GGG” or Canelo. In the mean time Saunders would contemplate leaping up to super-middleweight to fight IBF champion James DeGale. “100 per cent I think me and James DeGale could be made. Frank [Warren] got a good working relationship with him and obviously me being promoted by him. So I think that is a fight that can definitely be made,” Billy Joe said.

“I think that he overlooked [Caleb Truax] the first time, the second time he did what he had to do, went and got his belt back. That’s the main thing.”

Billy Joe Saunders

Saunders and DeGale were both 2008 Olympic team-mates on the GB squad. But he’s quite happy to fight him in earnest.

“He’s a character,” Saunders said. “I’ve got that bit of flip in me and he’s got it in him as well I reckon. It could catch fire. But I do class him as a mate. We’ve put the gloves on for nothing before and had rounds and rounds and rounds. And I’m sure we could do it for a few quid.”

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