WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders will turn his attention to his September 16 title defence, against American challenger Willie Monroe Jr at the Copperbox in London. But he had a few dismissive words for his old rival Chris Eubank Jr, the man Saunders defeated in 2014.

“He’s entitled to beat a 37 or 38 year old [Arthur] Abraham. He’s done, isn’t he? He’s had his best days and really on his last legs, I know he’s a tough man but if Eubank’s the big killer, what they’re saying he is, he would have got rid of him,” Saunders said. “Has he dropped a world class fighter like I’ve dropped one, Andy Lee? I’ve been in with him, he’s not a big puncher at all. Not a big puncher.

“I signed the contract to fight him twice because deep down I know what I can do to him. People might look at it and say oh he’s brilliant, he’s lovely but if people only knew what camp I had. It’s laughable… I didn’t take him lightly, I just didn’t know whether I was fighting or not and I only had six weeks training from start to finish. The last week was making weight in London.

Billy Joe Saunders

“People say he’s come on. He’s come on because what? Because he’s gained more muscle? He can’t get any fitter. He’s gained more muscle fighting old men now. That’s all he’s done. When’s the last time he’s been in a competitive fight, someone his own age on paper, that’s a really 50-50 fight since 2014? And that was three years ago. He hasn’t. You can’t just go on he’s beaten Arthur Abraham. Arthur Abraham was a beaten man before he got in the ring. He came over to lose. He was brought over to get beat. Not to win, not to look good on ITV. He was brought over to lose.”

Eubank has entered the World Boxing Super Series, a tournament that if he keeps winning should lead him to clash with George Groves. Saunders remains unconvinced.

“I reckon he’ll have one fight and he’ll pull out. He won’t fight George Groves or Callum Smith or anything. He might take George Groves, he might but I doubt it,” Saunders said. “It’s a good division but me personally I don’t like the idea of the tournament. I don’t like the idea because what’s the prize money, what’s the big stake? If this was done right and we could sit round the table we could make one fight for three or four million. And if he boxes Groves in that tournament, he’ll only earn a million quid. That’s good money but it’s not good for that sort of fight, for the magnitude of that fight. Groves is going to want two million. He is going to talk ridiculous because the argument with the Groves fight is going to be oh, I’m WBA champion [versus Eubank’s] IBO. They’re going to argue about the splits. That fight won’t happen. He’ll beat the Turk [Avni Yildirim], because that Turk’s not a lot, he’s strong. He’s fresh but he’s just strong. He’s got nothing. And he [Eubank] will pull out of the tournament. One million percent. Bet your house on it.”