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Eubank is not in my class - Saunders

ESPN staff
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Billy Joe Saunders ready for Chris Eubank Jr © Getty Images
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Billy Joe Saunders says he is "ready to fight at world level" - but will put those ambitions on hold to take on rival Chris Eubank Jr.

The British title holder looked impressive in his return to the ring after a 10-month injury lay-off, winning the vacant European middleweight title with an eighth-round stoppage against the previously unbeaten Emanuele Blandamura.

But Saunders said that ending a personal feud with Eubank, who recorded a first-round stoppage against Croatian Ivan Jukic, would be his next focus.

"Eubank was on Twitter the other day slagging me off and going on," Saunders told Sky Sports. "I should just tell him to get in the queue but I'm a proud man and he can't say he's going to knock me out and then go out and knock out a bum in one round.

"We're the same age, we've had more or less the same number of fights. But I hold all these belts and he holds a bottle of water in his hands when he leaves the ring.

"My team are right when they say Eubank's name shouldn't be mentioned in the same sentence as mine because I'm in a different class to him. But if he's man enough to say he can knock me out then let him try and do it. Not a problem."

Should he beat Eubank, Saunders announced he feels ready make his mark on the world stage, touting IBF champion Sam Soliman as his potential opponent.

"I'm ready to fight at world level now," added Saunders. "I'm not saying I'm ready to beat [WBC champion] Miguel Cotto or Gennady Golovkin [WBA], but I could go up against Sam Soliman [IBF] now."

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