Boxing - Saunders to defend titles against Hall

Billy Joe Saunders will put his British and Commonwealth middleweight titles on the line against Matthew Hall at the York Hall in Bethnal Green on March 21.

Boxing - Saunders: I'm ready for elite fights

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Billy Joe Saunders (Neill Hamersley - Eurosport)

Saunders had a successful 2012 picking up the Commonwealth crown with a stunning first-round win over Tony Hill and making defences against Bradley Pryce and Jarrod Fletcher, before ending the year with a points win over Nick Blackwell to land the British title.

The 23-year-old is now looking to make the Lonsdale Belt his own property before aiming for the European title and a subsequent world title shot.

A Beijing Olympian, Saunders has racked up a perfect 16-0 record since turning professional in 2009, and has specialised in explosive early finishes with all 10 of his knockouts coming within two rounds.

Hall is also experienced, with the 28-year-old having won the Commonwealth light-middleweight title in 2009 and challenging for British and European titles in his 31 fights.

Saunders is looking forward to the test, and predicts a close battle against his Manchester rival.

"Hall is still one of the danger men in the division and can still whack,” he said. “He will be looking to put the pressure on me, but I love it because the pressure makes me perform better and better.

"We are both big punchers, he can bang and so can I - the difference is will his chin be able to stand up to my big punches, we’ll find out on the night.

"He’s strong, comes forward and constantly throwing plenty of punches so I’ve got to make sure I not get careless against him. I believe that I’m leagues above Hall, though, and it will show on the night."

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