sport

Saunders in determined mood

Billy Joe Saunders insists even King Kong would be unable to prevent him from realising his boyhood dream of winning the vacant British title.

The 2008 Olympian meets Nick Blackwell at London's ExCel on the undercard of Ricky Burns' WBO world lightweight title defence against Jose Ocampo on Saturday night.

Saunders already holds the Commonwealth middleweight belt, but he believes it is the British crown that will propel him to big fights against domestic rivals Darren Barker and Mathew Macklin.

"This British title is all I've ever wanted since I've been five or six years old and I first went to the gym. Even King Kong wouldn't take it off me," the 23-year-old said.

"Once I become British champion people should have me in mind. I'll beat whoever's put in front of me.

"The British title has got Martin Murray, Matthew Macklin and Darren Barker a world title fight. The big fights will come from this.

"I went to (promoter) Frank Warren's house the other day and he has five or six fights already penned, all being well."

Saunders has his eye on a showdown with Murray, who will meet WBC world champion Sergio Martinez in Argentina in April.

"This time next year we could be looking at me against Martin Murray. I hope Murray wins the title," he said.

"Nick fought Murray and was doing well until he pulled out with a bad rib. Martin should have won the world title against Felix Sturm last year."

Blackwell was stopped in five rounds by Murray in a British and Commonwealth clash title in June last year, but it was only the 22-year-old's ninth fight.

"People shouldn't look at that fight against Martin Murray, I'm totally different to that - a lot stronger and fitter," Blackwell said.

"I've never felt so good. I want Billy to be at his best so I can beat him at his best.

"He's a good fighter, but so am I and I'm confident I can beat him. I'm not here to make the numbers up. I don't think I'm the underdog."