Billy Joe Saunders believes Tyson Fury will be a different animal in his fight with Oleksandr Usyk compared to a below-par showing against Francis Ngannou.
The Brit was was knocked down by Ngannou in his professional boxing debut, but won a split-decision to solidify his plans for an undisputed fight with Usyk.
Speaking on the Keep a LukeOut podcast, Saunders – a close friend and training partner of Fury’s – said that it was the worst any fan will ever see the heavyweight champion perform, and that he must cut out ‘hangers on’ before the Usyk bout.
“People can slate me. Ngannou could not beat Tyson. That was Tyson’s worst night. That was his worst day in the office you’ll ever see. You hear people ‘is he washed up, is he that, I’ve head he ain’t looked good in sparring…'”
“He just needs to cut the idiots away, cut the little hangers on that want to there for a meal ticket and be seen lurking around [him.] Cut all that out. Get your team, go and do your work, and go and become undisputed then sail off.”
Saunders elaborated by saying that the people Fury has surrounded himself with ‘probably know nothing about boxing.’
“I’ve noticed since I’ve been out of boxing what’s what. You sit back and you look, and this goes for a load of people, you know who’s real and who’s not real. You know who’s there for you at war and who’s not there for you at war. Lucky enough Tyson came away with the W – and I thought he won it by maybe two rounds – and it is what it is.
You won’t see that side of Tyson again if he puts his head down. Let’s face it, he’s got money from here to Manchester. It’s very hard for someone to take someone like Ngannou seriously when he’s got people around him, people who probably know nothing about boxing.”
Fury and Usyk will face off on February 17 to crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis.