Lee: I’ll stop Saunders in five

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The Irishman fights in front of his home fans at Thomond Park, Limerick, and has no doubts he will dispatch the Englishman before moving on to attempt to avenge a loss to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and his recent draw with Peter Quillin.

Lee told Boxing News: “Everything he can do, I can do to a better standard and I also have the power. He might win one or two early rounds but by the fourth or fifth, I’ll find the punch to end the fight.

“Saunders is very talented, highly skilled but fiercely competitive as well. I was impressed that against Chris Eubank Jr he went straight to work. He didn’t allow Eubank to settle and that showed his experience.

“It was always going to be tough down the stretch because Eubank is so well conditioned. Saunders’ biggest strength is his hunger, that personal pride. He can’t allow himself to be beaten. But that will only take you so far. I’m the better fighter all-round.

“I’ve got to beat Saunders. He’s my mandatory challenger, but after that, it frees me up. I wouldn’t mind a rematch with Quillin – we have unfinished business – and it’s also important for me to avenge my 2012 loss to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

“Gennady Golovkin is a possible fight next year.”

Lee, 31, won the title??in Las Vegas in December when he stopped Matt Korobov in the sixth round.