Billy Joe Saunders says he’s only got eyes for Emanuele Blandamura in the build up to his fight with the undefeated Italian. The Hatfield star says he is not distracted by the lure of a world title showdown with Peter Quillin, which could be next.
Saunders features as chief support on the big Dereck Chisora v Tyson Fury show on Saturday July 26 at the Phones 4 U Arena in Manchester.
Saunders has taken himself away from the TKO Gym in Canning Town for this training camp and has based himself at the quiet settings of Newlands Gym in Wickford, Essex.
The 24-year-old begins the crucial sparring sessions next week and says by the time the camp has finished he’ll be in the best shape of his life.
“I’m fully focused on this fight against Blandamura, there’s talk of Quillin for the WBO World title next, he’s in my sights and when the time’s good and ready I’ll fight him, but right now my eyes are firmly set on Blandamura and winning the European title
“Once I’ve beaten Blandamura and I’ve got the title then I know that I’m ready to make the step up to the world stage next and start calling him and the top men out.
“I don’t shout my mouth off, I respect him as he’s world champion, but when I’m ready I’m coming after him. I’ve got to get the 26th July out of the way, anything can happen, but I’m fully confident of beating Blandamura, if I come through this then I’ll sit down with my promoter Frank Warren and talk about getting Quillin.
“The TKO gym is one of the best boxing gyms in the country, but because of the size and importance of this fight we decided to take the training camp out to the quieter and private settings of Newlands Gym.
“I love it out here, it’s out of the way of everybody and me and my trainer Jimmy Tibbs have really got down to some really hard quality training.
“Next week the sparring starts and I’ve got Nick Blackwell, a top kid who I’ve previously boxed, plus top Irish fighter Gary O’Sullivan, coming down and I’ll be doing plenty of rounds with both of them.
“There’s only a month to go, my weight is where it should be, I’ve got a nutritionist on board now, and you should see another 20-30 percent more from me, definitely the best Billy Joe Saunders you’ll have seen so far.
“Blandamura is my biggest challenge yet, he’s undefeated, but he’s not faced anyone remotely like me, I’m not overlooking him but I’m confident of winning the European title.”