'It's better than the Olympics'

Billy Joe Saunders has labelled boxing at the Boleyn Ground as better than fighting at the Olympic Games.

The 20-year-old middleweight shrugged off a recurrence of the left hand injury he suffered in his victory over Lee Noble in December to comfortably outpoint Andy Butlin 60-55 over six entertaining rounds.

Speaking exclusively to whufc.com, Saunders admitted to having a soft spot for West Ham United, as well as fighting in their famous stadium.

Indeed, the Hatfield-based fighter admitted that he had enjoyed fighting in the East End more than he did in the Far East, where he reached the second round of the welterweight competition at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

"West Ham football ground has got a proper atmosphere. I've never boxed in a better place. I love it. It's got to be the best place I've ever fought. The atmosphere, having boxed all round the place, with boxing fans and football fans, is something I've never had before. I'd love to box here again.

"I'm an Arsenal fan but my second team is definitely West Ham. Whenever Arsenal and West Ham play each other, I like to see a draw. I do like both teams. I'd love to come down and watch them here next season."

Billy Joe Saunders

Concentrating on his boxing, Saunders was understandably delighted to extend his perfect professional record to 6-0, despite being hindered by his hand injury.

"I was pleased to get the six rounds under my belt. My hand went again at the end of the fourth and the start of the fifth and it was playing on my mind a little bit. I started off well and planned to put the pressure on in the last two rounds.

"I knew that he would tire out, so I stuck to my boxing for a few rounds and then, if my hand got to me again later, then it comes and it's not going to hurt me so badly.

"When I slowed down, my hand kicked in and when it kicked it in, I knew it and I thought I'd better slow down and start picking my punches. I was going in and looking for it a bit, because I was worried that it might go completely.

"As it went on, I realised it wasn't going to go completely so I stuck to my jab. Hopefully, touch wood, it's not broken again and it's just a bruise. It's not as painful as last time, but there's some swelling around it so I'll have to wait and see."