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Billy Joe Saunders confident for Lee fight, slams Eubank Jr again

Billy Joe Saunders has his first world title fight on Saturday, but squeezed in some time to bash Chris Eubank Jr for old times' sake.

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Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Billy Joe Saunders, who faces Andy Lee on Saturday for the WBO middleweight title, still has a lot of thoughts on old rival Chris Eubank Jr, whom Saunders beat in late 2014, a fight that started well for Saunders before the favored man petered out a bit and had to get through to secure a win.

Still, Saunders (22-0, 12 KO) just doesn't see Eubank (21-1, 16 KO) as a real contender in the middleweight division, and believes that his recent with over Gary "Spike" O'Sullivan was just more mirage from a "phony" fighter."The truth of the matter is that Eubank Jr. does not belong at the world level - he's a phony. It's as simple as that. I wasn't impressed with his win over Gary O'Sullivan, who I've already beat. He thinks he can fool the public with a win like that, but he can't," Saunders said.

"His aim now is to move up and fight the best guys in the world, but we saw what happened the last time he stepped up a notch and faced me: he was badly exposed. The same thing will happen with him if he fights someone like Danny Jacobs for the WBA title.

"You're not the best middleweight in your own country and you want to fight a world champion and say you're going to beat him? I think it's a delusion and he thinks he's greater than he actually is."

Saunders added that he'd be happy to beat Eubank again down the road, though he doesn't think Eubank will actually want that fight.

"Sooner rather than later he's going to get exposed again as the fraud that he is. You can keep talking, but eventually you have to back it up in the ring against top-level fighters. He's won his last fight and now he's back talking (expletive) again like he's the best fighter in history. If he has the balls to fight again, which I doubt, I would happily hand him another beating, this time in even more convincing fashion."

For now, Saunders, 26, is focused on WBO titleholder Andy Lee (34-2-1, 24 KO), his opponent for this weekend. Saunders has already won championships at the Commonwealth, British, and European levels, and the world title scene is his last step. The 31-year-old Lee said this week that he doesn't see Saunders as good enough to beat him, but Saunders says he's totally prepared to leave as world champ.

"I'm prepared for the toughest test of my career, but I know that I'm in excellent shape to win this fight and become world champion," Saunders said.

"Andy Lee is a tough fighter - he's proved that by becoming world champion and having the type of career he has had. But I'm undefeated and hungry and know that I'm on the brink of fulfilling a childhood dream. I'm not going to leave that ring without the title."

If Saunders does come through, he says he's ready to fight the rest of the division's titleholders after.

"Danny Jacobs had a great win against Peter Quillin, and then there is Canelo (Alvarez) and (Gennady) Golovkin. I know the importance of this fight for the division and I want my name to be among the very best. I'm taking it one step at a time, but I'm open to fight anyone."

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