Billy Joe Saunders “Living Like a Monk” To Get in Top Form

By Declan Taylor, courtesy of The Daily Star

BILLY JOE SAUNDERS used to get chased round Sheffield by the police during his days as a tearaway amateur.

Now he says he is living a prison lifestyle in the Steel City after relocating there on a permanent basis a decade later.

Saunders, who will make the second defence of his WBO world middleweight title against American Willie Monroe Jr at London’s Copper Box Arena in September, called Sheffield his home when he was part of Team GB.

His glittering time as an amateur saw him box at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

And now he is back up in Yorkshire training under Dominic Ingle at the famous Wincobank gym which has produced the likes of ‘Prince’ Naseem Hamed and Kell Brook.

But he is no longer treading the thin blue line even though Ingle is keeping him under lock and key.

He said: “It’s weird because sometimes I have a walk round the places where I used to get police chases.

“I just think, ‘Wow’ because nothing has changed except there are less police chasing me and that’s because I’m a bit fat.

“But the set-up is good in Sheffield, I live in the attic of Kid Galahad’s house.

“I just needed to be away from home really, there was too much horse racing, dog coursing, women, cakes and food – it was like Christmas every day.

“I’m proud of where I come from but our way of living is not good for boxing, our way of living is not good for general life.

“Now I’m locked away where it all started for me as part of the GB Olympic team for Beijing.

“You have to live like a monk who has nothing and put the work in. For me, that time is now.”

www.boxingscene.com/billy-joe-saunders-living-like-monk-get-top-form–118652?print_friendly=1

Frank Warren on Billy Joe Saunders’ Return on September 16

By Frank Warren

Billy Joe Saunders is literally steeling himself up as he begins preparations for the second defence of his WBO world middleweight title on September 16.
 
To ensure he is in the optimum condition for the challenge ahead, Bill has taken up residence in the Steel City of Sheffield, where he will now be trained by Dominic Ingle at the fabled Wincobank gym.
 
I honestly believe this is a smart move by Bill, who has removed himself from any distractions on the home front and he will receive top coaching from one of the game’s top operators.

We are very close to the point of being able to reveal exactly who will be challenging Bill for his world title at the Copper Box. Everything is in place and it is essentially a done deal, but I don’t like to jump the gun until the last i has been dotted and the final t crossed.
 
To be quite honest, there are enough boxers who cannot seem to resist letting the cat out of the bag on social media these days before contracts are signed and sealed and I wish they would keep it buttoned until we are in a position to make a formal announcement.
 
Bill, thankfully, isn’t one to get ahead of himself and his defence against the highest ranked available contender by the WBO will be confirmed very soon.
 
It promises to be some night on September 16, with Bill set to be part of a thrilling double-header before attention switches Stateside to Las Vegas and the long-awaited blockbuster between Saul Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.
 
For fight fans it will be a night that is really going to take some topping.
 
For Bill, should he successfully negotiate his business in London, he will be straight onto the next one because he is going to have a busy time of it from now on.
 
Circumstances beyond our control have kept him out of the ring for lengthy spells over the last year or two so he has got to get active now and remind everyone of what he is all about.
 
We need to get him going again, keep him motivated and in condition, so he can do what he does best.
 
Bill is the sort of fighter, a bit like Tyson Fury in some ways, who needs to know exactly who he is up against and when in order to get him stimulated to continue training.
 
He will have that now along with every opportunity to prove that he is one of the best champions out there.

www.boxingscene.com/frank-warren-on-billy-joe-saunders-return-on-september-16–118042?print_friendly=1

07/08/2017 Billy Joe Saunders vs. Avtandil Khurtsidze

Date:  Saturday, July 8, 2017

WBO Middleweight Championship Title Bout

Location: Copper Box Arena, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Hackney Wick, London, United Kingdom

Promoter:    Queensberry Promotions / Frank Warren

Supervisor:   

Referee:  

Judges:  

Results:  

TV: 

Golovkin: Billy Joe Saunders is The Last One, It is My Dream!

golovkin-saunders_8

All the talk if Gennady Golovkin successfully defended his IBF, IBO, WBA, WBC middleweight titles against Danny Jacobs was centered on GGG finally getting in the ring with Canelo Alvarez. Now, there might be another big-money possibility after Saturday night’s close decision win: a rematch with Jacobs.

Actually, Golovkin most likely will next fight England’s Billy Joe Saunders, who owns the only belt in the weight class not in the Kazakh’s possession, the WBO’s version in the alphabet soup of championships. That could happen in Golovkin’s home country in June during the EXPO 2017 – a world’s fair type event .

Golovkin likes that idea, though it wouldn’t be a lucrative payday. The idea of completely unifying all the middleweight crowns is enticing for the 34-year-old power puncher who, for the first time in 24 fights did not stop an opponent. He outpointed a crafty Jacobs at Madison Square Garden.

”My goal is all the belts in the middleweight division,” he said after winning 115-112 on two cards, 114-113 on another. ”Of course, Billy Joe is the last one. It is my dream.”

GGG hasn’t fought at home since 2010, when he won the WBA crown against Nilson Julio Tapia. It simply hasn’t been a profitable place for boxing, though his handlers think there potentially could be a bigger purse during the expo.

The elephant in the ring, though, could be Jacobs. Nicknamed ”Miracle Man,” after overcoming bone cancer in 2011-12 to win 10 straight fights, he nearly pulled off the huge upset. In doing so by keeping GGG off-balance – Jacobs’ periodically switching to a left-handed style was a very effective tactic – and closing with a flourish, He put himself in the mix for another go with Golovkin.

”They want the big fight and Daniel Jacobs got X’d out,” he said. ”I am looking forward to the future; I think I gained a lot of fans. My style is good, I am a fan-friendly guy, and I thought I won the fight.”

Jacobs didn’t, barely. But he won tons of support, particularly after getting off the canvas in the fourth round and not just surviving but prospering. He won the last three rounds with two of the judges, and two of three on the other card.

”After the knockdown, I told him he had to kill me,” Jacobs said. ”When I got up I thought, ‘This is all he has?’ There were many times during the fight I went toe to toe because I knew I could.”

Going toe to toe with GGG again is not in Jacobs’ control. But at least he remains in the conversation.

”He’s my best opponent, he is very smart, he had very good boxing skill,” Golovkin said. ”He don’t mind fighting, he doesn’t lose control.

”I am ready for anybody. It’s my job.”

www.boxingscene.com/golovkin-billy-joe-saunders-last-one-it-my-dream–114767?print_friendly=1

Saunders-Khurtsidze: WBO Orders Promoters to Start Negotiations

saunders-khurtsidze

By Keith Idec –

The WBO informed promoters for its middleweight champion, Billy Joe Saunders, and No. 1 contender Avtandil Khurtsidze on Thursday to begin negotiations for a title fight.

If Frank Warren, Saunders’ promoter, and Lou DiBella, Khurtsidze’s promoter, can’t come to an agreement within 10 days a purse bid will be ordered. The minimum bid for the Saunders-Khurtsidze fight would be $200,000, as per WBO rules for the middleweight division.

England’s Saunders (24-0, 12 KOs) reportedly is interested in fighting Japan’s Ryota Murata (12-0, 9 KOs), the WBO’s No. 2-ranked contender at 160 pounds. A fight against Murata would be more lucrative for Saunders, particularly in Japan, but Khurtsidze would have to be compensated before agreeing to step aside and allow that fight to happen.

Khurtsidze has been adamant, though, that he wants to be Saunders’ next opponent.

Brooklyn’s Khurtsidze (32-2-2, 21 KOs) has been the No. 1 contender for Saunders’ championship for nearly 11 months, since he stopped previously undefeated Antoine Douglas (19-1-1, 13 KOs), of Burke, Virginia, in the 10th round March 5 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The 37-year-old Khurtsidze’s No. 1 ranking didn’t stop the WBO from skipping him last month and installing its 154-pound champion, Canelo Alvarez, as the mandatory challenger for Saunders.

An Alvarez-Saunders fight would’ve been much more lucrative for Saunders – and the WBO – but Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) ultimately agreed to face fellow Mexican Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs, 1 NC) on May 6 at an undetermined site. Khurtsidze’s representatives didn’t file an appeal of Alvarez’s installation as Saunders’ mandatory challenger because they were told the WBO would grant Khurtsidze a shot at Saunders if Alvarez decided to fight Chavez.

The 27-year-old Saunders has fought just once since he won the WBO 160-pound title from Ireland’s Andy Lee (34-3-1, 24 KOs), whom Saunders defeated by majority decision 13 months ago. The British southpaw beat Russia’s Artur Akavov (16-2, 7 KOs) by unanimous decision December 3 in Paisley, Scotland, but admitted after their 12-round fight that he performed poorly during his first fight in nearly a year.

www.boxingscene.com/saunders-khurtsidze-wbo-orders-promoters-start-negotiations–113029?print_friendly=1

WBO Middleweight Bout Negotiations Billy Joe Saunders vs. Avtandil Khurtsidze

logo batistaWORLD BOXING ORGANIZATION

Luis Batista Salas, Esq.

Chairman WBO Championship Committee

Via Email

January 26, 2017

post

Re: WBO Middleweight Bout Negotiations Billy Joe Saunders vs. Avtandil Khurtsidze

Gentlemen:

Please be advised the parties have ten (10) days to negotiate an agreement for the WBO Middleweight Championship bout between Billy Joe Saunders vs. Avtandil Khurtsidze. If an accord is not reached within the time frame, a Purse Bid will be ordered.

The minimum acceptable bid for the Middleweight division is $200,000.00 (Two Hundred Thousand Dollars).

Any one of the parties involved may call for a Purse Bid at any time during the negotiation process.

Yours truly,

Luis Batista Salas, Esq.

C/c Francisco Valcarcel, Esq.

Billy Joe Saunders vs. Avtandil Khurtsidze (1)

 

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

Team Canelo no descarta pelear en México en diciembre

i-1 Canelo Alvarez podría enfrentar a Billy Joe Saunders en diciembre en México, de vencer a Liam Smith Christian Petersen/Getty Images –

MÉXICO — Aunque parezca difícil, existe una posibilidad de que el mexicano Saúl ‘Canelo’ Álvarez pueda cerrar el 2016 con una pelea en territorio mexicano, lo cual apunta para el 10 de diciembre ante Billy Joe Saunders, si todo sale bien este 17 de septiembre ante el campeón súper welter de la Organización Mundial de Boxeo, Liam Smith.

Canelo estelarizará ante Smith el pago por evento de Golden Boy Promotions y HBO desde el AT&T Stadium de Arlington, Texas, y de ganar entonces verán la posibilidad de que pueda pelear en suelo azteca, donde con la ayuda de patrocinadores esperan lograr su vuelta por primera vez desde noviembre de 2011.

“Todo es posible, en México hay arenas y estadios muy bonitos, hay apoyo y patrocinios que nos hacen pensar que no es algo descabellado. No sabemos si pueda ser en este mismo 2016, todo depende del resultado de la pelea ante Smith, creo que una vez pasado eso será cosa de hablar con Óscar de la Hoya y ver si lo podemos arreglar”, aseguró Eddy Reynoso, entrenador de Alvarez.

La Ciudad de México con la Arena Ciudad de México, Nuevo León con el estadio BBVA Bancomer y Jalisco con el Estadio Chivas serían posibilidades para que pudiera pelear Canelo en suelo mexicano. El Estadio Azteca es otra opción pero parece que no se ha marinado aún esa posibilidad.

“Sinceramente no hemos hablado aún del Estadio Azteca, no se ha analizado, muchas cosas se han dicho de los récords que puede romper Saúl, la verdad es que nosotros no nos comparamos con nadie, queremos romper nuestros propios récords, nosotros nos preparamos concientemente para las peleas y la gente es la que nos ayuda a imponer marcas. No queremos perseguir a nadie en ese aspecto, hubo peleadores que hicieron cosas muy grandes, pero que a la edad de Saúl no habían logrado tantas cosas. Vamos a dejar que los resultados hablen”, compartió el entrenador jalisciense.

Una pelea en México ante Billy Joe Saunders o cualquier otro rival, pensando en el duelo entre Canelo y Gennady Golovkin como una posibilidad para el Estadio Azteca, serviría a Golden Boy Promotions y HBO para conocer el terreno y darse cuenta de las condiciones en que se podría dar el combate.

www.espndeportes.espn.com/boxeo/nota/_/id/2746360/team-canelo-no-descarta-pelear-en-mexico-en-diciembre

 

Notes: Lee eyes fall return and big names

i Andy Lee hasn’t fought since December, but the former middleweight titlist is ready to get back in the ring this fall. Chris Farina/Top Rank

A few notes from around the boxing world:

  • Former middleweight world titleholder Andy Lee (34-3-1, 24 KOs) told ESPN.com he hopes to return to the ring this fall. “I haven’t anything in the works at the moment but I hope to return in the fall,” he said. “I took a little time off as the last three years have been intense. Now I’m looking forward to returning to the ring refreshed. I’ve kept ticking over in the gym and when I return I’d like to fight [secondary titleholder] Danny Jacobs or have a rematch with [titleholder Billy Joe] Saunders. My ultimate goal is to regain a title and challenge [Gennady Golovkin].” In December, Lee, of Ireland, got knocked down twice in the third round by Saunders and lost his title by majority decision. In 2014, Lee, 32, was scheduled to challenge Golovkin for his title but when Golovkin’s father died — just as the deal was being wrapped up — the fight was canceled while Golovkin returned home to Kazakhstan for his father’s funeral and to be with his family.
  • The date is set for the fight between cruiserweight world titleholder Krzysztof Glowacki and mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk. There had been two options, but it will take place Sept. 17 at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland, organizers announced on Wednesday. The sides made a deal two weeks ago to avoid a purse bid for the fight, which shapes up as an action-packed match. The 29-year-old Glowacki (26-0, 16 KOs), of Poland, who won the belt in dramatic comeback fashion by knocking out long-reigning titleholder Marco Huck in the 11th round last August, will be making his second defense. Usyk (9-0, 9 KOs), 29, who won the 2012 Olympic heavyweight gold medal for Ukraine, has moved quickly as a professional but will be taking a big step up in competition against Glowacki.
  • All-Star Boxing promoter Tuto Zabala announced that he has signed featherweight Matias Adrian Rueda (26-0, 23 KOs), of Argentina, to a promotional agreement. The 28-year-old is scheduled to face Mexico’s Oscar Valdez (19-0, 17 KOs) for a vacant world title July 23 (HBO PPV) on the Terence Crawford-Viktor Postol card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. “I’m thrilled to have signed with Tuto’s company,” Rueda said. “[Zabala and] Mario Margossian of Argentina Boxing Promotions will take my career to another level in the United States.” Said Zabala: “We had Matias on a ‘Boxeo Telemundo’ show last October and he looked impressive. Working with him and longtime friend Mario Margossian made it a no-brainer. He will be the next world champion of Argentina.”

www.espn.com.au/blog/dan-rafael/post/_/id/16209/notes-andy-lee-eyes-fall-return-and-big-names

Saunders to defend middleweight belt against Bursak

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Undefeated WBO World Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders begins his reign with the opening defense of his title against “Mad” Max Bursak on Saturday April 30 at the Copper Box Arena, London.

Saunders headlines a triple-title fight card that features Ovill McKenzie challenging Dmytro Kucher for the Vacant European Cruiserweight title and British Featherweight Champion Ryan Walsh defending his title against James Tennyson.

www.fightnews.com/Boxing/saunders-to-defend-middleweight-belt-against-bursak-328305

Saunders targets Golovkin, Eubank Jr

saunders-arsenal300

WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders says the next time he steps on the pitch at Emirates Stadium in London, he wants to be fighting WBA/IBF/WBC (interim) middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin or Chris Eubank Jr.

“The next time I’m here I either want to be playing as Arsenal’s new signing or a more realistic option is to fight Golovkin or Eubank,” said Saunders. “Golovkin would be an tremendous fight for British boxing. Muhammad Ali fought Henry Cooper at Highbury so in this new millennium what better than a super-unification fight between me and Golovkin? I know he was at West Ham the other week, but the Emirates is the place it has to be at. As for Eubank Jr, he’s already had his backside kicked by me. What better than me kicking it again in front of 60,000 at Arsenal?”

Billy Joe Saunders beats Andy Lee to claim WBO middleweight title

billy-joe-saunder-lee_3390374                                                                                 Andy Lee (right) and Billy Joe Saunders trade blows during their bout

By Rory O’Callaghan –

Billy Joe Saunders is the new WBO world middleweight champion after defeating Andy Lee at the Manchester Arena on Saturday.

Saunders, 26, was awarded a close points decision by the judges to extend his unbeaten record to 23-0-KO12.

Defending champion Lee, who won the title against Matt Korobov in Las Vegas last year, was knocked down twice by Saunders in the third round – a 10-7 round which proved pivotal.

One of the judges scored the fight level at 113-113 but was overruled by the other two, who scored it 114-112 and 115-111 in favour of Saunders, giving the British fighter a majority decision victory.

The pair began the bout in tentative fashion with the first two rounds passing off without major incident.

The fight burst into life in the third round after Lee connected with a solid straight left. Saunders then caught his Irish opponent with a powerful right hook which floored the 31-year-old.

Lee looked vulnerable when he returned to his feet and was soon on the canvas again after Saunders connected with another hook.

billy-joe-saunders-andy-lee_3390376

The defending champion took the majority of the count and held on to survive the round. He then recovered to take the next round after some good work with the jab.

Saunders and Lee continued to trade subdued rounds as the fight slipped back into a tense standoff between two evenly matched fighters.

Both boxers seemed wary of the other fighter’s punching power and neither was able to connect with any telling blows in the final rounds.

“Andy Lee is a good champion, I beat a good champion here,” Saunders told BoxNation after the fight.

“But I used his power against him. When I was boxing him he got a little bit careless – dropping his lead hand and I caught him with the hook.

“I’m not going to start running my mouth but it was a good shot. With someone as fast as me you’ve got to keep your hands up – I’m not the biggest puncher in the world but this shows you that I can punch.

“Lee showed that he can be dangerous. He actually caught me on a shot when I tried to finish him. I thought, ‘I won’t rush’ and I got back to my boxing and recuperated.

“When I put him down twice I knew he had to come and that’s when I had all the time in the world.”

http://www.skysports.com/boxing/news/12183/10105753/billy-joe-saunders-beats-andy-lee-to-claim-wbo-middleweight-title

12/19/2015 Andy Lee vs. Billy Joe Saunders

Date: Saturday, December 19, 2015

WBO MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE BOUT

Location: Manchester Arena (formerly M.E.N. Arena), Machester, Lancashire, United Kingdom

Promoter:  Queensberry Promotions / Frank Warren

Supervisor:  Francisco Valcarcel, Esq.

Referee:  Steve Gray

Judges:  Phil Edwards (112-114);  Dave Parris (111-115);  Marcus McDonnell (113-113)

Results:  Billy Joe Saunders is the new WBO middleweight champion by a 12 round majority decision over Andy Lee.

TV:

ANDY LEE & BILLY JOE SAUNDERS MEDIA WORKOUT QUOTES FOR WBO MIDDLEWEIGHT WORLD TITLE FIGHT

lee-saunders.duo.300w

“He’s not good enough to beat me.” – Andy Lee

“I’m not going to leave that ring without the title.” – Billy Joe Saunders

NEW YORK (Dec. 15, 2015) – WBO Middleweight World Champion Andy Lee and undefeated challenger Billy Joe Saunders held separate media workouts in Manchester, England, as they conclude preparations for their eagerly awaited showdown this Saturday, Dec. 19, live on SHO EXTREME (5 p.m. ET/PT) from Manchester Arena.

Ireland’s Lee (34-2-1, 24 KOs) will make the first defense of his 160-pound title against England’s Saunders (22-0, 12 KOs), the WBO’s No. 1 middleweight contender.

The SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL offering of the BoxNation telecast will feature analysis from SHOWTIME boxing experts Brian Custer, Al Bernstein and Paulie Malignaggi before and after the world championship showdown. An encore presentation of the bout will air on SHO EXTREME later that evening at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Andy Lee.screen shot

Here’s what Lee and Saunders had to say at their media workouts on Tuesday and Monday, respectively:

ANDY LEE:

“I have a punch that can end a fight, lights out, in any given second.

“I won’t rely on the punch. I will look to dominate from the start with educated pressure.

“I’m feeling very dangerous at the moment.

“Saunders’ unbeaten record is a disadvantage. He’s always been in fights he’s expected to win and has been well managed by (Frank) Warren.

“I’ve never lost a fight on points and I never will on points. If I’m down on the cards I will go out swinging in the last round.

“Saunders being a fellow traveler does add another layer, but at the end the day it’s about how good you are and he’s not good enough to beat me.”

BILLY JOE SAUNDERS:

“I’m ready to go for Saturday night. This is the best camp that I’ve ever had. I’m prepared for the toughest test of my career, but I know that I’m in excellent shape to win this fight and become world champion.

Billy Joe.screen shot

“Andy Lee is a tough fighter – he’s proved that by becoming world champion and having the type of career he has had. But I’m undefeated and hungry and know that I’m on the brink of fulfilling a childhood dream. I’m not going to leave that ring without the title.

“Training in Spain allows me to lock myself away from all distractions and focus solely on the fight. It’s hard being away from home, but it’s all part of boxing. It’s been a long camp, a tough camp, but after that I know that I’m ready to go through hell to make sure that I’m successful come fight night.

“The middleweight division is one of the hottest around and I’m prepared to fight any of the other champions in there once I win the title.

“Danny Jacobs had a great win against Peter Quillin, and then there is Canelo (Alvarez) and (Gennady) Golovkin. I know the importance of this fight for the division and I want my name to be among the very best. I’m taking it one step at a time, but I’m open to fight anyone.

“There has been no trash talk with Andy because we know what each person is about. We share a similar background and neither of us is going to take a back step.

“This is going to be a very exciting all-action fight because we’re going to leave it all in the ring. I know I have the skills to beat him and I intend to show the world why I’m among the best around.”

Saunders on fellow Brit Chris Eubank Jr.:

“The truth of the matter is that Eubank Jr. does not belong at the world level – he’s a phony. It’s as simple as that. I wasn’t impressed with his win over Gary O’Sullivan, who I’ve already beat. He thinks he can fool the public with a win like that, but he can’t.

“His aim now is to move up and fight the best guys in the world, but we saw what happened the last time he stepped up a notch and faced me: he was badly exposed. The same thing will happen with him if he fights someone like Danny Jacobs for the WBA title.

“You’re not the best middleweight in your own country and you want to fight a world champion and say you’re going to beat him? I think it’s a delusion and he thinks he’s greater than he actually is.

“Sooner rather than later he’s going to get exposed again as the fraud that he is. You can keep talking, but eventually you have to back it up in the ring against top-level fighters. He’s won his last fight and now he’s back talking (expletive) again like he’s the best fighter in history.

“If he has the balls to fight again, which I doubt, I would happily hand him another beating, this time in even more convincing fashion.”

http://philboxing.com/news/story-114743.html

Fight Picks: Andy Lee vs. Billy Joe Saunders

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 22:  Andy Lee (L) and Billy Joe Saunders (R)  pose for a photo ahead of the Andy Lee and Billy Joe Saunders Press Conference at the Grosvenor House Hotel on July 22, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 22: Andy Lee (L) and Billy Joe Saunders (R) pose for a photo ahead of the Andy Lee and Billy Joe Saunders Press Conference at the Grosvenor House Hotel on July 22, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

Andy Lee looks to make the first defense of his WBO middleweight title against Billy Joe Saunders on Saturday. The evenly matched bout takes place at the Manchester Arena (Formerly M.E.N Arena) and airs live on BoxNation in the UK at 5:00 p.m. (including full supporting undercard) and on Showtime Extreme in America at 5:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Both fighters were very cordial towards each other in Box Nation’s “Head to Head.”

As Lee (34-2-1, 24 knockouts) touched upon, although both are southpaws they have very different styles. Lee the taller, rangier puncher while his mandatory challenger, Saunders (22-0, 12 KOs) is a smaller, more compact, busier fighter.

Lee, at 31, is five years older than Saunders who turned 26 back in August. Interestingly, Lee is also Tyson Fury’s cousin, though, unlike the heavyweight champion, is far more reserved and respectful of his opponents.

An interesting subplot appears to be that both are from travelling backgrounds, adding extra spice to an already well matched 50/50 bout.

The twice-postponed fight has given both men and their highly-respected corners, Adam Booth with Lee and Jimmy Tibbs with Saunders, further time to analyze each other.

Online gambling group bet365.com lists Lee at Evens (+100), while Saunders is priced at 4/5 (-125).  

RingTV.com asked 17 boxing insiders for their picks:

Anthony Crolla, WBA lightweight titlist

A genuine 50/50 fight with two fantastic fighters. It’s so hard to pick a winner. Does Billy Joe build up a lead and hold on to it in the second half of the fight or does Andy Lee catch up to him in the second half of the fight? Either way, I see the first half of the fight being Billy Joe’s and the second half being Andy Lee’s. I can’t pick a winner; it’s such a close fight.

Stephen Edwards, trainer of junior middleweight Julian Williams

Billy Joe Saunders UD 12 Andy Lee: I like Saunders to outbox Lee and win a unanimous decision.

Norm Frauenheim, The Ring/15rounds.com

Andy Lee TKO 11 Billy Joe Saunders: Saunders has a chance to catch Lee early with a big shot. But the resilient Lee knows that. Look for Lee to give away a few early rounds in an attempt to stay out of range when Saunders figures to possess all of his energy and most of his power. After the fifth, the momentum figures to swing in favor Lee, who will capitalize with a punishing attack for a late stoppage.

Jeffrey Freeman, KODigest.TV

Billy Joe Saunders SD 12 Andy Lee: It would be easy to see Andy Lee getting his Irish socks boxed off by Billy Joe Saunders on Dec. 19 before relying on his superior reach and punching power to land a knockout blow, thereby saving himself from defeat yet again. Against lesser caliber opponents John Jackson and Matt Korobov, that comeback formula has suited Lee well. In Saunders, the defending WBO champion is facing a world-class middleweight upstart with superb southpaw skills and a sturdy chin. Saunders will box smartly and look to score a win on points. Lee will hunt for bombs but never squarely find the target. Firefights will be rare in this one but, when they do break out, Saunders will be more capable of imposing his will. The pick is Saunders by split decision in a title bout that looks closer to the judges than it does to the fans in Manchester pulling for their challenger.

Joe Gallagher, trainer of the Smith brothers, Crolla and Scott Quigg

Billy Joe Saunders PTS 12 Andy Lee: It can go one of two ways: Billy Joe was a very good amateur. He does well with southpaws; he beat Tony Hill very quickly (TKO 1). Andy Lee has grown into the role of world champion and a very good world champion, good wins away from home in America, got dropped, got up and knocked a good fighter out (Matt Korobov) and went the distance then with (Peter) Quillin. It’s a tough fight. I just think Billy Joe sets about Andy Lee early and really gets into a groove. I really think Andy Lee’s in trouble. I think Billy Joe can go through the gears. On the other hand, I do feel if Andy Lee keeps upsetting Billy Joe and doesn’t allow him in, I think Andy Lee can pull away on a points win. I can’t see it being a stoppage. I think it’s gonna be points, tight, either or, I don’t think it’s gonna be an exciting fight either. I think it’s gonna be a very tactical fight. Andy Lee’s a champion with power but Billy Joe obviously he’ll be on a high after beating (Chris) Eubank (Jr.), full of confidence, determined. I think if it goes to the scorecards, I think Saunders might nick it, it’s the toss of a coin.

Tom Gray, RingTV.com

Billy Joe Saunders SD12 Andy Lee: Truthfully, I have no idea who wins this fight. I can make a compelling case for both men and the only result that would surprise me is a stoppage win for Saunders. As it is, I’m going to pick the challenger via split decision. I think, as the fresher fighter, he can perform with more consistency through 12 rounds and his motivation will be sky high. Lee has a major edge in experience and he’ll have his moments but I see Saunders with a razor-thin edge at the final bell. This is a great fight between two excellent technicians.

Lee Groves, RingTV.com

Andy Lee W 12 Billy Joe Saunders: A tough fight to call. Lee is more experienced in terms of opposition faced and miles traveled, plus he is three inches taller and packs the far bigger punch. His left cross is among boxing’s most lethal weapons and it can strike at any moment whether he’s leading or behind. Saunders is younger, quicker and will probably have more crowd support in Manchester. Both are southpaws, so neither will have that advantage. Also, both will be somewhat rusty since this will be the second fight for both in more than a year. I’ll go with the bigger puncher and the more seasoned campaigner amidst an explosive and nerve-rattling atmosphere.

Daniel Jacobs, middleweight contender

Andy Lee to defeat Billy Joe Saunders: I’m rooting for Andy Lee because I think that’s a bigger fight for me. Doing something in the US between the two of us would make a lot of sense. He has a huge following here in New York, just like me obviously. It would be a classic showdown that Brooklyn would appreciate. May the best man win between the two of them but, if Andy wins, I think it would be very interesting for both of us.

Reggie Johnson, former middleweight and light heavyweight champion

Andy Lee KO Billy Joe Saunders: I like Lee in this fight. I think his makeup, skill set, height and range will have his hand raised at the end of this fight. Lee by early/mid-fight KO.

Tom Loeffler, managing director of K2 Promotions, which promotes IBF/WBA middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin

Andy Lee PTS 12 Billy Joe Saunders: This looks to be a very competitive fight but I would lean toward Andy Lee because of his greater world title experience and power by decision.

Glenn McCrory, former cruiserweight champion and Sky Sports commentator/pundit

Andy Lee PTS 12 Billy Joe Saunders: I can see Andy Lee coming through on points in a very close, hard-fought fight. I think it’s an excellent fight. Billy Joe Saunders is a good talent. He’s young. It would not surprise me if he did beat Lee; it’s that sort of fight. I just think Andy Lee’s been there a bit more, the big KO to win the world title has obviously elevated him, so he’ll be on top of his game. He’s in the Adam Booth camp, which has helped him after (trainer) Emanuel (Steward’s passing). It’s been a lift to him. He’s flying high and I expect a close, hard-fought fight with Andy Lee coming out on points.

Jolene Mizzone, Main Events matchmaker

Billy Joe Saunders PTS 12 Andy Lee: I may be the only one picking Saunders but my feeling is that Saunders is the hungrier fighter. I also think Saunders’ southpaw style will benefit him in this fight. I take nothing away from Lee; he has the power. The question is: Does Saunders have the chin? I think it will be an interesting fight but, again, I’ll go with Saunders in a 12-round decision.

Marty Mulcahey, UCNLive.comBilly Joe Saunders PTS 12 Andy Lee: This match-up, to me, just has the signatures of a changing of the guard fight with an older champion who has endured many wars having his title usurped by a young challenger. Saunders is a little quicker of both feet and hand, as well as a little better boxer and, in boxing, a little means a lot. Saunders’ southpaw advantage is negated by Lee’s own but a tough, nip-and-tuck win over Chris Eubank Jr. is the type of preparatory victory needed for a challenger. I also think Saunders has the chin to ride out Lee’s often fight-saving power and the postponement from the original date works in Saunders’ favor, allowing him a keep-busy fight. All in all, the small things and intangibles line up in Saunders’ favor for a decision victory.

John J. Raspanti, Maxboxing.com/Doghouseboxing.com/Ringside Boxing Show

Billy Joe Saunders SD 12 Andy Lee: Boxing is all about styles. Billy Joe Saunders is a slick boxer. Andy Lee can slug. The question going into their bout is: Who has the advantage? Saunders is younger but Lee is taller. Saunders is the quicker man. Lee can end the fight with one punch. I have a feeling that Saunders will get off to a lead and hang on to win a razor-thin, split decision.

Lee Selby, IBF featherweight champion

Andy Lee KO Billy Joe Saunders: I’d say either Saunders points or Lee KO. If I had to pick, I’d say Lee.

Ronnie Shields, trainer of junior middleweights Erislandy Lara and Jermall Charlo

Andy Lee PTS 12 Billy Joe Saunders: Both guys are really good fighters and both guys are smart and really tough. The only reason I’m gonna give Andy Lee the edge is that he’s the champion. Andy Lee’s a different fighter now than he was, say, a year-and-a-half, two-years ago. Being champion has really molded well for him. He’s one of these guys, he’s always been a puncher but now he has confidence in his hands. He has confidence in his ability. You can’t take nothing away from Billy Joe Saunders because this guy can really, really fight but I would have to give the edge to Andy Lee because of the power and because of the confidence right now. I’m gonna say points because I think Saunders is gonna really put up a great fight. I think Andy Lee’s gonna outpoint him.

Paul Smith, former two-time world super middleweight title challenger

Andy Lee PTS 12 Billy Joe Saunders: I think it’s a really good 50/50; every time I’ve leaned away from Billy Joe, as in the [Chris] Eubank fight, he’s come out and proved everyone wrong and won well. I thought he done great against Eubank and really stamped his authority in the division. I think Andy Lee’s a very good fighter. I think he’s pretty vulnerable, at times, which makes him exciting but he’s a big puncher and awkward, strong southpaw, as is Billy Joe. It’s a close fight; if I had to toss a coin and put my money somewhere, I’d probably stick with the champion. Both nice lads, nothing would surprise me at all.

Final tally: 9-7 (and one undecided) in favor of Andy Lee to win Saturday’s middleweight title showdown with Billy Joe Saunders.

http://ringtv.craveonline.com/news/406633-fight-picks-andy-lee-vs-billy-joe-saunders

British Middleweights Take Center Stage to Close Out 2015

Andy-Lee-Billy-Joe-Saunde-0812

2015 has been a good year for the Middleweight division, as the rise of 2015 “Fighter of the Year” candidate Gennady Golovkin has given the weight class a ton of attention, going (3-0) in increasingly higher profile fights.

In November, Mexican superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez secured the WBC World Middleweight title with his win over Miguel Cotto.

And on December 5th of 2015, WBA World Middleweight Champion Daniel Jacobs entered his showdown with undefeated Peter Quillin a slight betting underdog, but his white wash of Quillin in less than 90 seconds established him as one of the top three talents in the weight class.

Before the end of 2015, two cards in England will present Middleweight fights that will add even more clarity to the WBO World Middleweight title picture.

On December 19th, veteran Andy Lee (34-2-1) faces the undefeated Billy Joe Saunders (22-0) in defense of his WBO Middleweight title at the Manchester Arena.

Lee won the belt back in December of 2014 when he defeated Matt Korobov to take the belt vacated by Peter Quillin.

Lee then fought Quillin in Brooklyn for his first title defense.

Quillin failed to make weight meaning the title was not on the line, but Lee fought Quillin to a respectable draw and retained his hold on the belt.

Saunders is from a traveler family and he represented Britain in the 2008 Olympic games, and the young southpaw has held a slew of regional titles while competing at a high level as a pro.

The books have Lee as slight (-130) favorite, with Saunders returning at (+110).

The December 12th event at the 02 Arena in London features a Middleweight fight that will also impact the WBO title seen as Chris Eubank Jr (20-1) takes on Gary OSullivan (22-1).

In this one, O’Sullivan is a wide (+650) underdog, with Eubank the favorite returning at (-1000).

The lone blemish on both men’s record is a loss to Billy Joe Saunders, and though it is not a perfect indicator, Saunders out-boxed O’Sullivan winning (120-109, 120-109 and 119-110) with the judges, while Eubank thoroughly tested Saunders in a match that saw a split set of judges 115-114 and 115-113 for Saunders while the third judge had it 116-113 for Eubank Jr.

Eubank has held an interim version of the WBA title he won after the loss to Saunders and he raised his stock further by destroying outclassed Tony Jeter in his US television debut on Showtime.

For O’Sullivan a win here would be a huge step up, but should Eubank Jr. win as expected he could be lined up to face the winner of Lee vs Saunders, with the re-match with Saunders with a world belt now in play perhaps the best financial option.

But it would be wrong to ignore Andy Lee in this fray, as he is the most seasoned of the group and is still in his prime at 31 years old.

With a win this Dec 19th and his experienced resume, Lee could be a candidate to face Daniel Jacobs in a truly international showdown at Middleweight.

With Triple G and “Canelo” waiting in the wings, we could be in for good times in the Middleweight division.

http://www.thesweetscience.com/news/articles/21850-british-middleweights-take-center-stage-to-close-out-2015

Billy Joe Saunders spurred on by failure at the 2008 Olympics ahead of WBO title bout against Andy Lee: ‘I’m not prepared to fail on the big stage again’

200540AE00000578-0-image-m-9_1449366892571(Credit:  Photos by: Getty Images; PA; Graham Chadwick; Reuters)

  • Billy Joe Saunders has returned to the ‘big stage’ as a professional boxer
  • His early exit at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing was a great disappointment
  • Saunders fights Andy Lee for the WBO middleweight title on December 19
  • He said he’s learned from his mistakes as a highly-regarded 18-year-old

Billy Joe Saunders is still haunted by what he did in the summer of 2008.

At just 18 years old, he was considered one of the hottest prospects in all of world amateur boxing and had broken ground as the first ever member of the British Romany community to qualify for the Olympic Games.

But it all turned sour that August in Beijing and, seven years on, what happened in China still keeps him up at night.

He had reached the pinnacle of his sport only to come crashing down to earth with an early exit. He’s back at the peak again, now as a professional, and insists there will be no tumble this time around.

Saunders faces Andy Lee for the Irish southpaw’s WBO middleweight title at Manchester Arena on December 19 in his first crack at world honours after racking up a perfect 22-0 record in the paid ranks. He insists he’s ready this time.

Billy Joe Saunders is ready for the big time this time as he fights Andy Lee for the WBO middleweight belt
200540AE00000578-0-image-m-9_1449366892571

‘I know I can’t come out of that ring a failure,’ he said, leaning back from a table at the Slainte restaurant above Marbella’s MGM gym. ‘I failed on the big stage, at the Olympic Games, and I think about it all the time.

‘I’m at that stage again now and I’m not prepared to do that. I’m not prepared to fail on this big stage again.

‘What happened then was a blessing in disguise because now I know what I lost there.’ Saunders, the teenage welterweight, had cruised past Turkey’s Adem Kilicci 14-3 in the first round to set up a showdown with gifted Cuban Carlos Banteaux in the Last 16.

That’s where it all went wrong for the Hatfield youngster, who initially blamed the judges’ scoring on his exit and resulting failure to medal.

But, reflecting on the trip to the far east, the 26-year-old knows the damage was done long before he stepped through the ropes that day. He said: ‘I did that when I was 18 through my own stupidity.

‘I was in the Olympic Village, running up and down, partying, I was 17, 18 and I didn’t know what stage I was on.

‘The Cuban, I would have beaten eight times out 10 and he went on to win silver. Think what I could have done at that age.

‘But it’s the reason why I’m here, at the MGM Gym in Marbella, in these surroundings, away from everyone on my own training and everything is going perfectly.

‘So now there is nothing I can look back on and say, ‘I didn’t do this right, I didn’t do that right, that was my excuse’. There aren’t any excuses.’ Jimmy Tibbs’, Saunders’ fabled east-end trainer, has worked with British world champions such as Nigel Benn, Barry McGuigan, Charlie Magri and Chris Pyatt. He has often said that Saunders is better than any of them.

 239AC64A00000578-0-image-m-13_1449367058241  Saunders won the Commonwealth               and European belts when he beat Chris Eubank Jr last year

2409F5EE00000578-0-On_December_19_at_the_Manchester_Arena_Saunders_and_Andy_Lee_con-m-15_1449367260660Saunders will fight Andy Lee (above) for the WBO middleweight title he won from Russian Matt Korobov

Tibbs has, however, always insisted that his unbeaten charge would only attempt to join that clutch of esteemed fighters by claiming the world title once he was completely ready.

Now, seven years since he turned over, Saunders’ run to 22-0 has been punctuated by the British, Commonwealth and European middleweight titles. He also became the first traveller to win the British title outright when he successfully defended the Lonsdale belt for the third and final time in his high-profile money fight with Chris Eubank Jr last year.

Tibbs, his promoter Frank Warren and Saunders himself are now all confident that everything is in place to add a world title to his collection.

Saunders said: ‘I never really did say I want to be world champion in another ‘X’ years. I always said I want to fight for a world title when I am 26, 27, that’s what I said. Now I am 26.

‘I wanted to be that little bit more mature. I didn’t want to just go in there, win it and then get beaten. I want to keep it and I’m not scared of anybody at middleweight.’

Despite his heartbreak in China, Saunders has turned it around to become one of the most successful members of that talented seven-man squad which eventually represented Team GB in 2008 after Frankie Gavin missed the weight.

Light-welterweight Bradley Saunders has had bad trouble with his hands and was disqualified in a stay-busy eight-rounder in September while light-heavyweight Tony Jeffries had such terrible hand injuries he was forced to retire after just 10 professional fights. He now runs two successful boxing gyms in Los Angeles.

The career of Beijing bantamweight Joe Murray, currently 15-2, has stagnated and he has not boxed since February when he was stopped inside five rounds by Liam Walsh in his challenge for the British and Commonwealth super-featherweight titles.

0246065000000578-0-image-m-18_1449367441150  Saunders says, as a teenager, he brought the defeat on himself but now he’s a more mature competitor 

Super heavyweight, and captain of the team in China, David Price was tipped as a potential long-term king of the heavyweight division but he has considered retirement after being badly knocked out by Erkan Teper in July.

The flyweight, Khalid Yafai, since turning professional has captured the British super-flyweight champion and is widely expected to go on to challenge for world honours.

But so far the only man from that team to become champion of the world is James DeGale, the middleweight gold medalist in Beijing, who is now the IBF king up in the 168lb super-middleweight division.

And Saunders, who is bidding to join him at boxing’s top table later this month, thinks his old friend from Harlesden will unify the titles to become the undisputed champion following his successful first defence against Lucian Bute.

Saunders added: ‘I think people have forgotten about his performance a bit because unfortunately for him, he boxed on the same night as Tyson Fury.

Saunders beli2EEB4B1500000578-0-image-a-30_1449367711695eves his friend James DeGale didn’t get the recognition he deserved for beating Lucian Bute

‘But I think DeGale is a very very good fighter and is a very good friend of mine as well.

‘He loves pressure. To go to Canada and do that to Bute, you have to take your hat off to him. He’s a really good fighter and he won’t be a flash in the pan, he’s going to keep it going.

‘All the tools are there for DeGale, as long as he turns up he’s going to be a tough cookie to beat. I think he’s going to unify the division now.

‘Given Andre Ward has moved up, the champions at his weight are Badou Jack, Arthur Abraham and Fedor Chudinov. In my personal opinion, DeGale beats all of them within a month.

‘He was always talented, now he’s showing it. He’s come a long way since the Olympics and so have I. Now it’s my time to win that world title.’ Suddenly, seven years in boxing seems like a very long.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/boxing/article-3347880/Billy-Joe-Saunders-spurred-failure-2008-Olympics-ahead-WBO-title-bout-against-Andy-Lee-m-not-prepared-fail-big-stage-again.html