BOXING: Eamonn O’Kane flattered by Billy Joe Saunders link

Eamonn O'Kane, pictured in action during his victory over Lewis Taylor on 'The Time Is Now" bill in Lavey last month, has been linked with Billy Joe Saunders.
Eamonn O'Kane, pictured in action during his victory over Lewis Taylor on 'The Time Is Now" bill in Lavey last month, has been linked with Billy Joe Saunders.
  • Eamonn O’Kane claims he’s willing to fight IBF No.1 ranked middlweight Billy Joe Saunders
  • Undefeated Saunders is considering fighting O’Kane at the end of June
  • O’Kane earned his 14th professional win against Lewis Taylor last month
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EAMONN O’Kane insists he is flattered to be ‘called out’ by top ranked, undefeated middleweight, Billy Joe Saunders.

Talented southpaw, Saunders (21-0-0) is ranked in the top three of the IBF, WBA and WBO governing bodies at present and he has set his sights on fighting O’Kane at the end of the month.

Following approaches from O’Kane’s trainer, Paddy Fitzpatrick on Twitter, Saunders claimed he would consider fighting the Banagher boxer in England.

“I might even consider at the end of June having a little fight and bringing a good name over,” said Saunders.

“Paddy Fitzpatrick tweeted me the other day about Eamonn O’Kane. So maybe I could get him over for a fight. I don’t want to fight a complete bum. I want to fight someone who has got a bit of a name and I think this fella can have a little bit of a fight. So it would be interesting. It’ll be a good fight,” added Saunders.

In response O’Kane claimed he was more than willing to fight Saunders and claimed he had plenty of options as he attempts to navigate his way towards a world title shot.

“He’s (Saunders) not afraid to call anybody out and if he’s good to his word then it would be great to fight him,” said O’Kane.

“I definitely think I’ve proved I’m capable of fighting on the world scene and he’s ranked in all the governing bodies in the top five.

“So if you want to be getting a world title shot that’s the sort of scalps you have to be taking.

“It’s never going to be an easy fight. There are no easy options,” he claimed. “I have to prepare as best as you can. If you’re good enough to be world champion you will be!

Chris Eubank Junior (left) in action against Bradley Joe Saunders during their British European and Commonwealth middleweight title fight at the ExCel Arena, London.

Chris Eubank Junior (left) in action against Bradley Joe Saunders during their British European and Commonwealth middleweight title fight at the ExCel Arena, London.

“But it’s good to be mentioned with the calibre of boxers like Billy Joe Saunders. I’ll let Francie (McNicholl) and Paddy (Fitzpatrick) do any negotiating. I’m not comfortable calling people out, I just get on with my business.

“But it’s flattering to be mentioned by these guys and I hope to capitalise on it. That’s the kind of people I want to be mixing with and I believe I can cause him a lot of problems.”

O’Kane has also been linked with the IBF’s No. 1 contender, Hassan N’Dam should he claim the vacant IBF middleweight world title on June 20th when he meets Quebec puncher, David Lemieux at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

The middleweight division is stacked from top to bottom with star-studded talent and O’Kane knows he has plenty of options in the coming months.

He’s not afraid to call anybody out and if he’s good to his word then it would be great to fight him. If you want to be getting a world title shot, that’s the sort of scalps you have to be taking.

Eamonn O’Kane

“I definitely have a few options,” he said. “There’s also been talk of me fighting Spike O’Sullivan as well. I don’t mind fighting whoever.

“Hassan N’Dam’s manager, Gary Hyde has already been in touch about a fight with me. If he wins his fight against Lemieux for the IBF title then that could lead to a big fight in Dublin or preferably closer to home.

“So the interest is there and it’s good to have my name pushed around in that circle of names. I want to be world champion and that’s why I have been making the sacrifices.”