By Declan Taylor in Montreal, courtesy of The Daily Star
BILLY JOE SAUNDERS is ready to put a quarter of his £1.5m payday on the line in a charity bet with David Lemieux.
The WBO middleweight champion has travelled here to freezing Montreal to put his belt on the line against the popular local puncher.
Lemieux is aiming to become a two-time world champion and says the undefeated traveller has made a big mistake even making the trip.
But Saunders has turned up the heat by putting his money where his mouth is by offering his challenger a charity bet.
Saunders said: “David, if you are that confident, we will put £375,000 on it, my lawyer is here to sort it out.
“If you beat me, you can choose what charity I give it to and vice versa when I win.
“That is if you’re game to do it. If you’re not getting as much as £375,000 then we can always negotiate what purse you are getting.
“That’s irrelevant, if you’re willing to match that then I am too. That’s how confident I am of beating him.”
Saunders is fighting for the second time under the tutelage of new trainer Dominic Ingle, who, along with nutritionist Greg Marriott has steered him to the 160lb middleweight limit with ease.
The Englishman added: “I don’t remember being this happy, probably since my amateur days.
“For the last six, seven, eight months, I’ve never been so happy. I’m so excited to fight.
“I used to just get excited about weighing in so I could go and eat a load of rubbish.
“But now I’m excited to get in the ring to put on a classic display.”
The co-main attraction will be a 10-round fight for the WBO Intercontinental Middleweight title between Antoine "Action" Douglas (22-1-1, 16 KOs) and Gary "Spike" O'Sullivan (26-2, 18 KOs). Also, Cletus "Hebrew Hammer" Seldin (21-0, 17 KOs) who will face Yves Ulysse Jr. (14-1, 9 KOs) for a 10-round super lightweight bout