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Billy Joe Saunders is set to defend his WBO middleweight title for the second time on July 8th against Avtandil Khurtsidze. It is no coincidence the same date was planned for Tyson Fury’s return to the boxing ring on the same card. Unfortunately for Fury he still has to deal with UKAD and the British Boxing Board of Control.

All the controversial headlines has given Fury a polarizing reputation in the boxing world. In a recent press conference Saunders insisted that his comrade is really not as bad as people think.

“I would love that [Fury fighting on the card] and so would the public if only Tyson would show the other side of himself rather than his controversial media face. If he did that he would be even more popular than Anthony Joshua. He’s a lovely guy. Quite cuddly actually,” said Saunders.

Saunders even joked that he has been arrested more times than Fury.

“Tyson is 38 and has never been arrested. I’m 27 and been arrested 12 times … but no convictions by the way!”

He also shared some information about Fury’s current mental and physical state.

“Mentally Tyson is out of the dark place which worried me. We had long chats and, like me, realised that what we do is box. Physically he’s hard at it every day and has already taken off 22lbs of all that extra weight. When I pulled in for petrol in Spain the other day I bought some mints and offered him one. ‘No no’ he said. Too much sugar. He could be ready for 8 July if they let him,” said Saunders.

And that’s a very big if.

Nonetheless, on July 8th Saunders is fighting against the Georgian who is known for knockouts and has even gained the name ‘Mini Mike Tyson.’ The two faced off recently and provided some good humour on the side as you can see below.