WBO World Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders will defend his belt on September 16th against former World Title challenger Willie Monroe Jr.
Saunders, hailing from Hatfield, has an unbeaten record of 24-0 with 12 knockouts. This will be the second defence of his crown after winning it against Irishman Andy Lee in December 2015 with a clinical performance, dropping the Champion twice and walking away with a majority decision.
Most recently the WBO kingpin faced Russian Artur Akavov last December. Despite a close decision win, Saunders promised to improve in his next outing. Avtandil Khurtsidze was due to face Saunders in London in July, but was arrested in New York and the bout was cancelled.
The slick southpaw wants to face the winner of Saul Alvarez versus Gennady Golovkin, who fight in Las Vegas later in the evening on September 16th.
Monroe Jr (21-2, 6 KOs) is coming off a career best victory over Gabriel Rosado last September, winning a wide decision over his experienced adversary. The New Yorker picked up the WBO Inter-Continental belt in the process.
In May 2015, Monroe had his first shot at the World Title, losing by knockout in the sixth round to Middleweight monster Golovkin. Saunders will be hoping to repeat the actions of the Kazakh fighter.
‘BJS’ has made no secret of his desire to mix it up against the winner of 'Canelo' v 'Triple G' to unify the division, and if he can get through this title defence against ‘El Mongoose’, he will be aiming for the summit of the Middleweight division.
Monroe Jr, meanwhile, will want to spoil the party and get that shot in place of Saunders to potentially avenge one of the losses on his record.