Saunders: I don't need Eubank fight

  • By: Simon Crawford
  • Last Updated: July 27 2014, 10:29 BST

New European middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders insists he does not need a fight with Chris Eubank Jr because his arch domestic rival brings nothing to the table.

Billy Joe Saunders on his way to the European title
Billy Joe Saunders on his way to the European title

Southpaw Saunders, 24, stopped tough, unbeaten Italian Emanuele Blandamura with a crunching eighth-round right hook to land the EU strap, adding it to his British and Commonwealth belts.

Eubank Jr was also on the same bill at the Manchester Arena on Saturday night, stopping an outclassed Ivan Jukic in the first round before claiming he would take the British crown in four months.

Eubank Sr was even more fulsome in praise of his son after the fight, claiming he would be better than Floyd Mayweather.

Saunders is happy to face Eubank Jr in what would be an explosive domestic dust-up, but believes he is now in a position to look at world honours, with WBO champion Peter Quillin mooted as a possible future opponent.

Asked why his bitter rivalry with Eubank Jr had developed, Saunders told sportinglife.com: "I don't disrespect people and say I'm going to knock them out if I don't know them.

"But he said he's going to knock me out in four or five rounds so let's stop talking about it and see if he can because it's p***ing me off a little bit now.

"He's talking it all the time but I'm the one doing it. We're the same age, had the same number of fights but I'm the British, Commonwealth, WBO international and now the European champion. What is he? He's fighting bums isn't he? He shouldn't even be mentioning my name.

"Let's do it - if he wants to fight I'll fight him tomorrow.

"But I don't think he wants the fight because he hasn't got the balls to do it.

"He likes his name mentioned but where is he? I want to forget about him and move on to bigger and better things. I'll sit down with [promoter] Frank [Warren] next week and we'll decide where to go from here."

Saunders took his record to 20-0 (11KOs) by adding a third belt to his collection with victory over Blandamura.

It was the traveller's first outing for 10 months after a hand injury and he was delighted to return in such impressive style.

"Blandamura was a good fighter, he was unbeaten so he was definitely the test I was expecting," said Saunders.

"He brought a little bit of awkwardness with him but I know I have to deal with these kind of fighters now. Half the time I don't think he knew what he was going to throw next so that made it difficult for me!

"I prepared well but the performance was only 75 per cent. However, it just shows you how much I'm coming on that I can finish unbeaten fighters like that. I'm not fighting people who have lost four of five, I'm fighting people who are unbeaten. He was an ex-soldier and in extremely good shape as we all saw at the weigh-in.

"It was the biggest fight of my career and the biggest of his so I know he was 100 per cent in shape but he just wasn't good enough.

"I've been out for 10 months so I couldn't ask for a better performance and result than that. I think there was some rust as my timing was a little bit out at times. I've had plenty of sparring but there is nothing like getting in there and being active.

"Obviously I'm delighted with the finish and the hand feels fine - like it never happened so that's good."


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