Billy Joe Saunders: ‘You can’t overlook anyone in this game’

training camp
Action Images/Matthew Childs
Billy Joe Saunders warns Martin Murray to focus on him, not promoter Frank Warren, writes Jack Figg

BILLY JOE SAUNDERS has claimed Martin Murray should be focusing on him instead of Frank Warren, after the Liverpudlian claimed he was ‘fed up’ of being overlooked.

Saunders meets Murray on June 23 at the O2 Arena in London, with the WBO middleweight title at stake.

The fight was originally scheduled for April however Saunders withdrew due to a hand injury, during this time Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez pulled out of his proposed rematch with unified champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin.

This led to Saunders being linked with possibly replacing Canelo and promoter Warren has stated ‘GGG’ is a target for the WBO champion along with other potential future opponents. Murray did not take to this well.

Murray said at a press conference: “With all due respect, Frank, and I know you’ve not been my promoter for a long time but Billy’s throughout his career, I’m your fighter now and I hear you going on about how Billy’s doing this and that or fighting Golovkin or Canelo’ or George Groves and I’m fed up of hearing it.”

“On June 23, this is my time and I will become world champion,” Murray added.

Saunders responded to the claims by admitting he understands Murray’s frustration, but feels he should not be focusing on what the promoter is doing.

“I can see his frustration” Saunders said.

“I’ve been there myself when people are talking about other fighters but in my own head he hasn’t got to worry what Frank Warren is saying, he’s got to worry about me.”

Billy Joe Saunders

Saunders is facing a four-time world title challenger in Murray. The undefeated champion has no illusions that he is facing a serious challenge.

“My head is fully focused on Martin Murray and nobody else” said Saunders. “I’ve done this all my life and I haven’t slipped up yet, I’ve got to carry on doing what I’m doing making sure I’m 100 percent focused.

“You can’t overlook anyone in this game.”

Saunders has returned to his Sheffield training camp to link up with coach Dominic Ingle, for their third bout together, and the WBO champion insisted he was not taking any risks when explaining his decision to withdraw from the original fight date.

Saunders said, “I was sparring caught it on the top of the head and realised it was pretty sore, I took my glove off and it straight away swelled up.

“I need my jab hand with Martin Murray and it wasn’t 100 percent so I couldn’t make the fight.”

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