After Billy Joe Saunders' next WBO World Title defence was confirmed last week, promoter Frank Warren knows the opponent is a serious threat.
Hard-hitting Avtandil Khurtsidze stopped previously-unbeaten Tommy Langford on April's Leicester show and showed why he is an avoided man in the Middleweight division.
“Billy Joe’s got to get rid of this pain in the a*se mandatory. He’s got it, and got to get on with it. Having said that, if Billy Joe’s not 100% he’ll get beat,” Warren told British Boxers.
“I don’t like it. I don’t mean it being disrespectful when I say he’s [Khurtsidze] a freak but he is a bit of a freak in as much his size, he’s strong, he’s awkward. Bill ain’t going to have to go looking for him.”
With a relentless and aggressive style, Khurtsidze has earned the nickname 'Mini Mike Tyson', but Saunders believes the 38-year-old is just a 'puffed-up Danny De Vito'. Still, the Georgian boasts 22 knockouts in his 33 wins and will be confident of leaving the Copper Box Arena with a victory.
“He’s going to be right in front of him and he can make things difficult, there’s no doubt about that,” Warren continued. “We’ve seen that with Tommy. I thought Tommy was going to get through with his boxing, I think he was just too strong.”
Hatfield’s Saunders is eyeing the winner of Saul Alvarez v Gennady Golovkin and knows he must improve on his last outing in December when he earned a points win over Artur Akavov.
“The match with Bill, he’s been out of the ring for a while and these are the sort of fights you don’t really want,” added Warren.