By Jonny Stapleton
After beating Belfast’s Tommy Tolan Billy Joe Saunders claimed he was never going to loose to an Irish man in front of his home crowd. Irish middleweight Anthony Fitzgerald agrees. However not because he has faith in the talented Saunders pugilist abilities rather because he thinks the English fighter will avoid him and any decent Irish prospect at all costs.
Fitzgerald claims Billy Joe Saunders is avoiding him.
‘The Pride’ stressed he got official conformation today that the former Olympian would not be interested in an Irish English clash on January 27.
The Irish super middleweight champion was eager to fight the rising British star on the under card of James Degale’s next contest, but revealed Team Warren informed him he will not be Saunders next foe.
‘Fitzy’ revealed Team Warren claimed the undefeated prospect wouldn’t be out in January despite his boxrec record suggesting otherwise and that they didn’t want to discuss future dates.
The EBA champion, who is desperate for a ring return having had to endure an enforced sabbatical that stretches back to March, thinks the reason behind the refusal is that Saunders doesn’t want a to face a fit and focused Fitzgerald.
“I talked to team Warren Friday and today and they don’t want the fight. They are saying Billy is not out on the 27 and they don’t want to talk about anything beyond that. They offered me the chance to take him on two weeks before his last fight, but I wouldn’t have made the weight. They knew I hadn’t been training and where hoping to take advantage of that. Now I am looking to fight him with five weeks notice they say no. They don’t want to risk him against me. He said after his last fight he would never loose to an Irish man and he won‘t if he keeps avoiding us,” Fitzgerald revealed.
The WBA world top 15 fighter admits he is desperate for a fight with a name like Saunders to re kick start his career, but also hints the Frank Warren promoted English man needs a test like the Dubliner to appease his fans.
“Saunders is a good fighter, but he hasn’t fought anyone of note yet. I am world number ten I hold the EBA middleweight belt and I am the only man to stop Affif Belghecham. Darren Barker or Andy Lee couldn’t manage that and they are both at World level now. I am a credible opponent and the type of test Saunders needs. Beat me and he can move into the WBA world top 20, but it seems they will pad out his record a bit more.”