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Gypsy Billy Joe Saunders on the road to boxing fame

Martyn Herman Reuters 05.06.2008 15:38
Gypsy Billy Joe Saunders on the road to boxing fame

Billy Joe Saunders, an 18-year-old Romany living on a travellers' site on the outskirts of London, looks set to become the face of British amateur boxing in Beijing.

Saunders is one of eight Britons qualified for the Olympics in August and he is being tipped to make a similar impact to Amir Khan who won a silver medal in Athens four years ago.

Like Khan, who is fiercely proud of his Pakistani roots, Saunders is determined to provide a "good news" story for a section of the community often given a rough ride in the media.

Boxing is firmly in his DNA. His great-grandfather Absolom Beeney, now in his late 90s, was a bare-knuckle prize fighter in the boxing booths around the show grounds of England.



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