By Declan Taylor in Montreal, courtesy of The Daily Star
BILLY JOE SAUNDERS has been hiding out in Toronto to avoid any of David Lemieux’s spies.
Saunders defends his WBO middleweight title in Montreal on Saturday when he takes on local hero Lemieux at the Place Bell.
The Englishman and his team flew to Canada over two weeks ago in order to acclimatise to the time difference and sub-zero temperatures.
But his trainer Dominic Ingle decided against plotting up in Montreal so they could put their finishing touches to Saunders’ preparation in secret.
Ingle said: “I have a friend in Toronto, which is an hour and a half away from Montreal on the plane.
“I didn’t want to be under anyone’s watchful eye in Lemieux’s city. I wanted to keep us away from spies and prying eyes.
“We have had everything we need in Toronto and we’ve had an ideal camp.
“By fight night we will have been in Canada for three weeks which is great for Billy.
“If you don’t handle the time difference and everything properly, it does give the home fighter a massive advantage.
“It took Billy about eight or nine days to adjust to the time zone but now he is in peak condition.”
Saunders, who has now arrived in Montreal for fight week, has also honed his winning mentality by taking the rest of his team to the cleaners during “heated” games of Monopoly.
Ingle added: “Billy is the don when it comes to Monopoly. As soon as we landed out here he wanted to buy it.
“He loves it, he loves the properties, but he kills everyone and it can get quite heated.
“It’s a long game, three or four hours, so it keeps you switched on mentally.”