Manchester - Billy Joe Saunders' dream of becoming the first traveller to win a world title proved to be alive and well as he despatched Emanuele Blandamura in eight rounds to win the vacant European middleweight title. At just 24 years of age the 2008 Olympian has already established himself as the country's best at domestic level, owning the British title. Saunders (19-0, 10KO wins) was eager to impress against 34-year-old Blandamura (22-0, 5KOs), who was unbeaten coming in but having never faced anyone of note.
After the win, Saunders immediately called out middleweight rival Chris Eubank Jr, who was also on the Manchester card and dispatched Ivan Jukic in the first round..
"It was a bit of a letdown of a fight," he said. "My timing was a bit out after 10 months out but I landed the shot."
He added: "If Eubank wants the fight and he's got a pair, let's fight. If he wants it, let him get in the ring."
Eubank overwhelmed Jukic to take his record to 17-0 (12KOs) after dropping his opponent twice with heavy-handed attacks to head and body.