Billy Joe Saunders thinks Tyson Fury could be more loved than Anthony Joshua

Terry Flanagan and Petr Petrov Public Work Out

It would seem unthinkable that we could ever exist in a world where Tyson Fury would be feeling the love, more so than his British counterpart Anthony Joshua.

Unless, of course, we exist in some sort of nonsensical parallel universe where love is contempt and vice versa, in which case it would make perfect sense.

Fury was suspended from all competitive boxing activities after he allegedly made racist, sexist, and anti-semetic remarks during a much-publicised interview, mere months after usurping Wladimir Klitschko at the top of world heavyweight boxing.

One fellow boxer, WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders, thinks the world would be a better place with Tyson Fury as he has gotten to know the man behind the thick skin at a training camp in Marbella.

Saunders is gearing up for his title defence match up against Avtandil Khurtsidze on July 8, while Fury is prodding and probing for any sort of comeback opportunity that would raise the boxing world to its feet.

Fury’s hearing with the UK’s Anti-Doping commission has been postponed amidst accusations that both he and his cousin Hughie tested positive for nandrolone in 2015.

And Saunders, along with promoter Frank Warren, are among those that will be keeping their fingers crossed for a possible Fury return, that too in time for the July 8 bill.

It has been a long and arduous journey for Tyson Fury, who admitted to using cocaine in his battle against depression. He has also been caught up in a flurry of controversially heated exchanges with fellow boxers and promoters, using social media to launch scathing attacks on his counterparts.

Such acts have cast him in an unpopular light with fans, but Saunders believes if they could see what he sees, they would change their minds.

Boxing at Paisley Lagoon Centre

"You only see the media side of Tyson, what the man puts out there," said Saunders, 27.

"When you know him personally, if he was to show that side he'd be loved more than Anthony Joshua, honestly. He's a bit cuddly.

"We go through what he's been through and how he's come through it and what he has done and what he hasn't done and where he went wrong, really. They are deep conversations but it worked. He got in training and he hasn't looked back.

"He's being very honest with himself. When we were out there we stopped in a garage to put some fuel in the car and bought some Smints. He was reading the packet and saying he wouldn't have them because they had too much sugar in.

Boxing at Paisley Lagoon Centre

"When he's on it, he's on it. There wasn't a day when he wasn't up early in the morning ready to go out, running on the beach. The first time running he couldn't run two miles; then he got up to five, so he is definitely improving. Everything is there with Tyson, it just needs putting back together.

"He had a sweat suit on every day; it's hot in there in the gym and he really put the work in. Never once did he have quit in him.

"Each day he was looking brighter; I hope we can get a fight announced for him soon again.

"Tyson is a good mate of mine we have been friends for years."

Boxing at Wembley Stadium

Saunders had previously voiced his concern over Fury’s health condition, stating in October 2016 that he did not think that his boxing buddy would make it to 30. But he was quick to defend Fury’s mental state, adding: "I was worried about him but not now.

"He's got a bit to go physically but he's mentally fit. Boxing has got him off the drink, I wouldn't like to see boxing taken off him.

"Hopefully Tyson will be on the same [July 8] bill. He just has to get this sorted out [with UKAD]. As far as I am aware, there is nothing really to sort out, just wasting a bit of time.

"He hasn't done anything majorly wrong. I don't know why he is in the position in the first place."

Do you agree with Saunders about Fury? Have your say in the comments section below.

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