Billy Joe Saunders Retains WBO Super-Middleweight Title, Wants Canelo Alvarez Next


Billy Joe Saunders Retains WBO Super-Middleweight Title, Wants Canelo Alvarez Next

Billy Joe Saunders is still the WBO super-middleweight champion, as the Brit retained his title last night against Martin Murphy.

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Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) posted his 30th career win, after a unanimous decision that saw all three judges convincingly scoring in his favor, 120-109, 120-109, and 118-110.

This was the second successful title-defense for the champion, who won the title against Shefat Isufi and retained it for the first time against Marcelo Esteban Coceres.

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He was dominating from the first bell this Friday night, not allowing the rival to have the slightest chance to get into his rhythm and to catch a break to regroup. Sounders’ jabs and combos were continuously chopping Murray’s defense, and as time went by, hurting the challenger, who was often on the corners.

During the fourth round, there was an aggressive attack from Saunders that forced Murray (39-6-1, 17 KOs) to touch the canvas, but it wasn’t counted as a knockout, according to the judge in the ring.

As time passed, Murray was more and more hurt, with blood covering his face in the seventh. He would try to make a push in the later stages, yet the punishment from the other side was harsh. However, the challenger needs to be credited for staying on his feet until the end of the match, even though experiencing a heavy beating.

This was the fifth attempt for Murray to win the world title, but as in all of the previous attempts, he was unsuccessful. The 38-year old lost to Arthur Abraham, Gennadiy Golovkin, Sergio Martinez, and drew with Felix Sturm, before experiencing a defeat against Saunders.

As for the champion, he now awaits to see what happens next in the division. Saunders was supposed to fight Canelo Alvarez, but the Coronavirus pandemic prevented this mega-fight from happening. Instead of Saunders, one other British fighter, Callum Smith, jumped in to face the unstoppable Mexican. Smith will put his WBA and The Ring super-middleweight titles on the table, and try to defeat one of the biggest names in the history of boxing.

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Meanwhile, Saunders’ future after this fight is more less clear, as he wishes to fight the winner from the above-mentioned event or Golovkin. His promoter Eddie Hearn said that his client isn’t willing to waste his time on some other fighters, but wants a mega-deal struck as soon as possible.