Billy Joe Saunders has labelled Willie Monroe Jnr “a quitter” ahead of their world title fight this September.
The WBO middleweight champion defends his belt at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday, September 16, with all the action live on BT Sport.
Saunders’ latest defence, plus a full undercard featuring Anthony Yarde and Daniel Dubois, will be shown live on BT Sport 1, while live streaming will also be available on BTSport.com and via the award-winning BT Sport App.
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Billy Joe Saunders says he can tell by looking in the eyes of Willie Monroe Jnr that he “is a mentally weak person”.
The 27-year-old defends his WBO middleweight title for the second time when he takes on the American in London’s Olympic Park and says he has no doubts he’ll still be a world champion with his hand raised at the end of the contest.
“I think he’s a good boxer and this is his big chance,” said Saunders. “He is coming over to win my world title so I have to be prepared for him. He’s been in with good opposition. He came up short against Gennady Golovkin but will have learnt a lot from facing him.
“I think it will be a very tight fight but I think I’ve got the edge in terms of desire. No disrespect to him, but in round six of his fight with Golovkin he said he was done and that isn’t a very good sight when you are looking at a warrior. There are question marks over him for that reason.
“I’m not being funny or trying to run my mouth off but I know by looking in his eye what sort of person he is. I can tell by looking in his eye that mentally he is a weak person. When the fight is going well and he is on top he looks fantastic but the moment that it gets tough he doesn’t know what to do. He isn’t mentally strong enough. When the going gets tough, I can see it in his eyes, he will quit.
“When someone earns £500-600 a month and they find £50 of that to watch you fight then you need to give it everything. You can’t get in the fight and find it hard you have to keep trying and not quit. You just don’t do that.
“If you have any sort of fighters mentality you keep going. Even if your arms are hurting and you are getting hit you have to keep going. That’s the sport we are in. It is hard and at times it can be bloody messy but that’s the job and it all comes with it.”
Saunders hasn’t fought since last December, a points victory over Artur Akavov in Scotland, but says he will be in the shape of his life for the Monroe contest having recently teamed up with Sheffield-based trainer Dominic Ingle.
“I feel in good shape,” he added. “I’ve lost a bit of weight, I’m eating well and living well. I feel fresh.
“I’ve been in camp three weeks already so it’s going to be a 12 week camp overall for this fight and I’ll be in great shape. Sometimes a change is as good as a rest and it’s been brilliant for me so far. I’m living over the road from Dominic and I’m living the life now.”