Billy Joe Saunders (22-0) and WBO middleweight champion Andy Lee (34-2-1) face off on Saturday night in Manchester and the undefeated challenger claims he is not worried about Lee’s punching power.
In fact, Saunders is ready to get up close and personal with Lee and slug it out with the champion. He told RingTV.com “He [Lee] has a dangerous right hook but you actually have to be wary of all his punches. Still, even though he can hit, he’s no Gennady Golovkin and you will see me stand and punch with Andy Lee”.
Saunders also said “I’m going in there to outfox, outbox and outfight him,” whether he can do this for 12 rounds or not is debatable and perhaps his best chance of achieving this is by neutralising Lee’s dangerous right hooks. A tough task indeed.
Lee is undoubtedly the biggest test of Saunders’ career to date and is definitely a big step up in terms of competition but Saunders remains confident, stating “I will find a way to win this fight”.
There is however an additional element at play here in that both fighters are from the traveller community. This could swing the fight somewhat with the honour and pride adding extra pressure on the night. Saunders has mentioned the pride element on a number of occasions in the build up to the fight but we won’t know how he will respond to the pressure until it is exerted on him.
Perhaps Saunders biggest worry in this fight is his conditioning. If he starts to fade in the later rounds as he did against Eubank Jr then he could face trouble from Lee’s right hooks and given the amount of weight Saunders has shed for the bout those right hooks could prove to be extremely dangerous.