By Frank Warren
From speaking to him personally and everything I am hearing, Billy Joe Saunders appears to be enjoying a new lease of life with his new regime up in Sheffield.
I certainly hope it is the case because he is up against a tricky customer in Willie Monroe jr at the Copper Box on September 16 in his long-awaited second defence of the WBO world middleweight title.
Bill seems to be reaping the benefit of a new environment, a new trainer and a fresh direction. I believe this will bring the best out of him, which is something we certainly haven’t seen yet.
From his regular postings on social media he looks in tip-top condition and that is a credit to him and the excellent training team he has got around him.
Drawing the best out of himself will make Bill a formidable force in the middleweight division and more so because he is still only a young man with plenty of rounds left on the clock.
The fact he said in his own column here last week that he is not prepared to be held hostage to the marquee fights he craves indicates that he has adopted a pleasing new perspective on the game.
He has been left hanging on more than a few occasions over the last couple of years by his willingness to fight certain people not being reciprocated when it came to putting pen to paper.
He is now showing the attitude we want from him in that he just wants to fight – and that is a good place for him to be in mentally.
Nobody will be able to deny him the fights he wants if he keeps winning and becomes an active champion.
First things first though, he is up against a dangerous challenger in Willie Monroe and has a job to do. But as I have always said, Bill at his best and on the button is more than a match for anyone.
WE LAST WEEK announced the next step for Anthony Yarde on his climb upwards in the light heavyweight pecking order.
It is important for Anthony to keep breaking new ground at this stage of his development and it is new territory for him on September 16 with the fact he is taking on an opponent with an unbeaten record.
Anthony and Ryan Ford actually have identical 12-0 records and you generally know what you are going to get with unbeaten fighters taking on each other. They have got it all to lose and, more often than not, you end up with a good fight.
As far as I’m concerned with Anthony, all we are trying to do with every fight is push him up the rankings and provide him with further experience.
We do that by having him fight regularly and banking that experience because he is still a novice in many respects. In some ways he looks like an experienced campaigner with the way he sets about his opponents, but in other ways he needs to gain the know-how that comes with getting rounds under his belt in more challenging fights.
We have to take into account his limited amateur pedigree and that he remains a novice in the pro ranks, even though he has taken to it like a duck to water.
The ideal world for him at the moment is getting him out every six weeks or so and that is what we are doing and will continue to do so.