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Saunders talks Lemieux fight, return of Tyson Fury

Billy Joe Saunders will defend his middleweight title against hard punching David Lemieux tomorrow.

Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

As WBO middleweight titlist Billy Joe Saunders gets set to defend his strap against David Lemieux tomorrow night, Saunders takes some time to talk to Fight Hub TV about the bout and about his good friend, Tyson Fury, settling his issue with U.K. Anti-Doping...

Saunders on how he feels with his title defense on the horizon:

“Good, calm, ready to go...all the talking is done, it’s down to business now...I’m ready to rock n’ roll.

On if he’s earning his biggest purse by coming to defend his title in Lemieux’s backyard:

“I’m probably about to buy a caravan or two with it. Listen, for me now it’s about putting some stuff that’s gone wrong for me in the past [right]. You know, 2016 was a big shame so I wanna prove to myself, I wanna be out twice before the end of this year — I said that, I delivered it to myself — so yeah, I’m getting paid well but at the end of the day I’m not here for that. I’d rather [them] keep the money [and] I’ll win. I’m here to win. But if I didn’t take this fight here today, it wouldn’t have been until the new year and I wasn’t prepared to wait around.”

On if he thinks the match-up in this fight simply boils down to the boxer vs. the puncher:

“No. People know that I will have a fight, people know that I’m not afraid to have a fight, but on my terms. There will be an element of [boxer vs. puncher], maybe so, but after a few rounds we’ll see then.”

On if he thinks the pressure of Lemieux fighting in his hometown might get to him:

“Look, we’ll see. I’ve got no pressure on me. I come here as world champion, I’m doing stuff I love to do, getting paid — I have no pressure...People say ‘oh you might get robbed,’ listen, the whole world can watch it...I will take him out the game, 100%.”

On getting under Lemieux’s skin and if that’s a good thing for him:

“Very good. Listen, the angrier the bull the better it is.”

On his friend Tyson Fury settling his beef with U.K. Anti-Doping:

“Yeah, he’s back. He’s doing his thing, which I’m over the moon for. But he’s coming to get his gold back. He’s coming to get his gold back, trust me.”

On him thinking about retirement:

“Look, after the Akavov fight I said to myself ‘if I get back into the ring and have a terrible performance like that again, I’d never get in the ring again.’ But when you wake up you know that I wasn’t living the life, I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to, I wasn’t giving six months of my life away. And now I have — fit, ready to rock n’ roll.”

On him barely seeing his newborn daughter since training:

“Listen, she’s six months old now, I’ve hardly seen her at all so, you know, it’s definitely all got to be for something. And it’s definitely not gonna be a loss, 100%.”

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