12/03/2016 Billy Joe Saunders vs. Artur Akavov

Date:   Saturday, December 3, 2016

WBO MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE BOUT

Location:   Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom

Promoter:  Queensberry Promotions / Frank Warren

Supervisor:  Istvan Kovacs

Referee:  Marcus McDonnell

Judges:  Dave Parris (116-113); Lynne Carter (116-112); Jose Ignacio Antunez (115-113)

Results:   The WBO Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders retained the title by Unanimous Decision against Artur Akavov.

TV: Panama RPC Channel 4

Billy Joe Saunders vs Artur Akavov delayed until December 3

billy-joe-saunders-wbo-champion-boxing_3762903  Billy Joe Saunders must wait slightly longer to defend his world title

Billy Joe Saunders’ world title defence against Artur Akavov has been postponed by a week to December 3.

Saunders had been due to make the first defence of his WBO middleweight strap on Saturday night in Cardiff, but the fight will now take place in Paisley a week later.

Problems with the translation of medical paperwork supplied by the Russian’s team have forced an unavoidable delay, with the bout having already been delayed once after Saunders suffered an injury in training.

“It’s extremely frustrating for all parties and especially Billy who has been itching to get back into the ring following a frustrating 2016,” said promoter Frank Warren.

“The medicals were sent late and mostly in Russian and once translated it then became apparent they were not complete. Ultimately, it would be too late to find a suitable replacement so postponing it was our only option.

“I feel for Billy Joe as he was ready to make the first defence of his world title and for all of the fans who wanted to watch him.”

Alex Vaysfeld, from Akavov’s team, said: “This is no more than a translation problem and will be easily rectified upon Akavov’s arrival in the UK and I’m glad Frank was able to postpone for just a week.”

Saunders, who seized the title from Ireland’s Andy Lee 11 months ago, admitted his frustration at the postponement.

He said: “I was ready to put on a big performance and defend my title in style in Cardiff but unfortunately this latest issue was totally out of our control.

 billy-joe-saunders-boxing-sport_3770602 Unbeaten Saunders will be aiming to take his record to 24-0

“The fight is still on, that’s the main thing and I’ll be fully prepared to defend my title in Scotland next week before moving on to a blockbuster fight in 2017.”

The Cardiff event is still set to feature four big title fights as Terry Flanagan defends his WBO world lightweight championship against Puerto Rico’s Orlando Cruz, while Welshman Liam Williams challenges Gabor Gorbics for the vacant WBO European super-welterweight title.

Tommy Langford faces Sam Sheedy for the vacant British middleweight title and Tom Stalker and Craig Evans do battle for the third time for the WBO European lightweight championship after two hard-fought draws.

www..skysports.com/boxing/news/12183/10669017/billy-joe-saunders-vs-artur-akavov-delayed-until-december-3

Billy Joe Saunders focussed on WBO title defence against ‘the Wolverine’

image Billy Joe Saunders on his way to the WBO world middleweight title against Andy Lee

Billy Joe Saunders doesn’t believe he’ll be at his ‘career best’ when he makes his maiden WBO world middleweight title defence against Russian Artur Akavov but he is hoping to ‘blow the cobwebs off’ en route to a successful first victory as champion.

The Hatfield fighter steps back into the ring on Saturday, October 22, for the first time since snatching the belt from Irishman Andy Lee in Manchester almost 10 months ago.

Saunders has been added to the ‘Little Less Conversation’ show at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena.

The 27-year-old has been hampered by a combination of injuries and fruitless negotiations leading up to his first defence and he’s not taking the prospect of European WBO middleweight champion Akavov, who is on an 11-match winning streak, lightly.

Speaking at a pre-fight press conference in London on Monday, Saunders said: “There was the hand injury which stopped me fighting [Max] Bursak [in April] and from then onwards it’s been very frustrating for me.

“I’ve got a new date now and I’m not overlooking him [Akavov].

“He went to the World Championships with Russia so he has some pedigree, has only lost once and I’ve been out of the ring for nearly 10 months.

“I personally don’t think this will be my career best, I need to blow some of the cobwebs off but I know I’ve got to look good doing it and then we’ll look at a big fight in the new year.”

Should his first defence go to plan, Saunders is open to getting back into the ring in December but says he is aiming for a date in February or March next year – against either feared unified WBA, WBC, IBF and IBO middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin or WBO light middleweight king Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.

He continued: “I’m not overlooking anyone but the next big fight I want after this is one of Canelo or Golovkin. My goal is Golovkin in February or March.

“Am I good enough for Golovkin? There’s only one way to find out.

“I’m 27 now, in my prime. If I can’t beat Golovkin now I’ll never beat him.

“If I don’t rise to the occasion I’ll get sharply found out. I believe I can beat him.”

He added: “He’s not invincible. If he wants to fight in December I’m ready. A unification overrules a mandatory so he can do it if he wants to. I’ll go to America and fight him. Canelo? I’ll beat him seven days a week and twice on a Sunday.”

Promoter Frank Warren added: “We’re not looking past this fight against Akavov.

“Everyone just thinks he’ll turn up on the night and that’s it.

“Providing Bill comes through this fight and comes through it well, doesn’t sustain any hand injuries and nothing goes wrong then we’ll look at either Golovkin or Canelo.”

www.whtimes.co.uk/sport/boxing/billy_joe_saunders_focussed_on_wbo_title_defence_against_the_wolverine_1_4726181