Billy Joe looks for bigger test

NEWHAM-based Billy Joe Saunders is one of the trio of Frank Warren s 2008 Olympians who are all looking for KO victories over domestic opposition in Manchester on Saturday night. James DeGale, Frankie Gavin and Saunders are all in action at the MEN Arena,

NEWHAM-based Billy Joe Saunders is one of the trio of Frank Warren's 2008 Olympians who are all looking for KO victories over domestic opposition in Manchester on Saturday night.

James DeGale, Frankie Gavin and Saunders are all in action at the MEN Arena, as part of the undercard to Amir Khan's WBA light-welterweight title clash with Andreas Kotelnik.

So far, the trio have proved too much for European opposition, now though they are switching their attentions to the domestic scene to see if they can keep up their run of good form.

Saunders, guided by respected local trainer Jimmy Tibbs, faces ex-soldier Matt Scriven from Nottingham, while DeGale takes on former Irish champion Ciaran Healy, and Gavin will face Yorkshire campaigner Graham Fearn.


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Saunders, 19, added: "Scriven has got a reputation for being a tough fighter and not many stop him, so I'll know more about where I'm at after this fight.

"I've had two stoppage wins so far, so in a way, I want someone who'll take me a few rounds," said the bright prospect who has trained at both local gyms - the TKO and the Peacock - in his build-up under experienced trainer Tibbs.

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However, Degale insisted he will not be coasting to a points win: "In this business you don't get paid for overtime and I'll be going in there all guns blazing.

"I know boxing fans appreciate skillful fighters, but what they really love seeing is guys who win in style, and they are going to get that with me, Frankie and Billy Joe," said the 23-year-old Olympic champion.

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