BILLY JOE SAUNDERS feels his challenge for Andy Lee’s WBO world middleweight strap on December 19 eclipses Miguel Cotto-Saul Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin’s unification win over David Lemieux last month.

Having twice been postponed, Lee-Saunders headlines at the Manchester Arena on what looks set to be a stacked show.

Despite the worldwide attention Golovkin-Lemieux garnered and the gargantuan size of Cotto-Canelo, Saunders believes his clash with Lee outdoes them both.

“I keep saying the fight between me and Lee is the most important fight in the middleweight division in recent years and it’s true,” he said.

“It looks like boxing’s elite will be watching with great interest the fight between me and Lee and more importantly who wins as it impacts on what they do in their careers.

“This is what I’m in boxing for the big super-fights.  Me and Lee is a super-fight, I absolute love it and I can’t wait for what lies ahead.”

Americans Daniel Jacobs and Peter Quillin will vie for the WBA regular world title on December 5 in another important showdown at 160lbs and Saunders is well aware of what opportunities lie ahead should he triumph over Lee.

“Listen, Lee is a great champion and I’m definitely not underestimating him and he’ll have my total focus, but how can you ignore the big fights that lie ahead for the winner?” he considered.

“Surely that’s a massive golden carrot to aim for and put the pressure on you to fight to your best and win.

“The winner out of me and Lee is going to be up there amongst the big names, Golovkin, Cotto and Alvarez and if [Andre] Ward is looking at fighting at the weight then it’s another superstar name in the 160lb pot, it’s going to be a red hot time in the middleweight division in the next year or so that’s why I’m going all out to win on December 19 and get that belt around my waist.”