Lee vs Saunders

Andy Lee Billy Joe Saunders

Lee Saunders

The Manchester Arena

On air @ 5pm

19

Dec

The WBO World Middleweight Championship

Post-fight analysis

Billy Joe Saunders put on a masterful performance to win a narrow majority decision against Andy Lee to secure the WBO World Middleweight title.

The fight was cagey throughout, save for an explosive third round where Saunders dropped the champion twice, once with a huge right hand. Both men showed clear respect for one another through 12 absorbing rounds, Saunders showing magnificent footwork and movement, Lee always remaining a threat with his one punch knockout power.

After two quiet rounds, the fight burst into life in the third. As Lee over-committed, Saunders thundered home a big right hook to send the Irishman to the canvas. Lee made the 10-count, but, looking shaky, was dropped for a second time as he was left to cling on desperately for the bell.

The Irishman recovered well and enjoyed the spoils in the fourth round of this compelling showdown.

The middle rounds fell a bit flat as we headed for pulsating championship rounds where both men would trade. Lee grew stronger as the fight went on and finished the 12th round at full throttle, but it was Saunders who was awarded a majority decision win 114-114, 115-111, 114-112.

 

 

Pre-fight analysis

Andy Lee faces undefeated challenger Billy Joe Saunders for the WBO World Middleweight title as he makes the first defence of his belt in a huge domestic showdown on December 19.

The Manchester Arena will play host to the biggest domestic fight of the year as these two middleweight stars go toe-to-toe.

Lee v Saunders face off

Lee, 31, claimed the vacant title in December 2014 by defeating heavily favoured American Matt Korobov by technical knockout after 6 rounds.

The London-born Irishman was scheduled to make his first title defence against Peter Quillin in April 2015, however Quillin was unable to make weight and the contest went ahead as a non-title bout. The fight ended in a draw, bringing Lee's record to 34-2-1 (24 KO).

Lee will be eager to win a convincing victory over Saunders to cement his place as a world title holder as he travels to Manchester.

However, fellow southpaw Billy Joe Saunders is not to be underestimated and boasts an impressive 22-0 record with 12 knockouts. He currently holds the Commonwealth Middleweight title and will be eager to finally challenge for a world title.

Saunders' biggest test to date came in November 2014, a bitter contest with Chris Eubank Jr. The Hatfield ace claimed victory by way of split decision.
 
Saunders is the number one contender for the WBO Middleweight title and these two southpaws appear evenly matched, making the outcome difficult to predict in a genuine 50/50 fight.

In July 2015, Saunders took a giant step towards regaining his sharpness for the Lee enoucnter with a consumate disposal of France's Yoann Bloyer in four rounds.

The southpaw had not been in action since his November 2014 victory against Chris Eubank Jnr and it was clear that he was shaking the rust off. Bloyer landed a few big shots in the early rounds but was dropped three times during the encounter, with the last causing the referee to stop early. Saunders can now devote his full attention to the Lee encounter.

Liam Smith Jimmy Kelly

Smith Kelly

On air @ 5pm

The WBO World Super-Welterweight Championship

Post-fight analysis

Liam Smith makes a successful first defence of his WBO World title, stopping Jimmy Kelly in the seventh round.

The Liverpudlian showed his class throughout the fight, using his intelligent movement and powerful hooks to the body to sap the energy from his unbeaten opponent.

Kelly landed a few telling shots of his own, including some neat uppercuts, but Smith always looked the more powerful and proactive fighter. The Liverpool fighter stayed on the front foot throughout the fight, and his pressure paid dividends in the seventh round when Kelly slumped against the ropes and to the canvas. Although it wasn't ruled a knockdown, Kelly's trainer Ensley Bingham was soon on the ring canvas waving the white towel to hand Smith the win.

The Mancunian challenger gave a good account of himself and looked a brave and game challenger, but he was simply no match for the class of Smith.

 

Pre-fight analysis

Fresh from landing the WBO World Super-Welterweight Title on October's fantastic show, Liam Smith returns to the scene of his proudest moment the Manchester Arena to defend his title against Jimmy Kelly.

Smith will be hoping to finish the year with a bang after landing a ‘Punch of the Month’ contender to knockout John Thompson in spectacular style to pick up the vacant World Title last time out.

 

Victory capped a fantastic night for British boxing and sets up another mouth watering blockbuster card on December 19 topped by Andy Lee's World Title defence against Billy Joe Saunders.

'Beefy' has racked up seven stoppages in succession, you'll have to go back to the victory over Erick Ochieng in September 2013 for the British Title to find the last time the popular Scouser's opponent heard the final bell. 

BoxNation viewers have seen Smith grow and develop into a truly World class fighter down the years under the guidance of promoter Frank Warren and Trainer Joe Gallagher.

Liam Smith v Jimmy Kelly

It’s a dream shot for stablemate Kelly, who is ranked 8 in the WBO World rankings following victory over Martin Rios on the World War 3 card in October to collect the vacant WBO Intercontinental title.

All three judges' scored it wide for Kelly against the Argentinian, who took the 23 year old the furthest he's been so far in a pro bout.

Going the ten round distance halted Kelly's three fight knockout streak, which saw the popular Mancunian win two WBC Youth titles in the process.

Local lad Kelly will be sure to bring an army of fans to the biggest night in what will be his 17th professional fight career.

Jimmy Kelly challenges Liam Smith

Liverpool and Manchester rivalries will be renewed in this domestic World Title dustup which will act as chief support to the main event.

Mitchell Smith George Jupp

Smith Jupp

On air @ 5pm

The WBO Intercontinental Super-Featherweight Championship

On the undercard Mitchell Smith defends his WBO Intercontinental title against George Jupp.

After an impressive first round knockout over Dennis Tubieron in July, Smith will be hoping victory over Jupp in the second defence of his title would propel him further up the WBO Rankings.

The unbeaten 22 year old is one of the UK’s hottest prospects and has this big platform to showcase his talents.

Jupp, slightly older at 24, has strung together 8 wins on the spin, picking up the Southern Area title along the way taking his record to 12-2 (4 KO)

Paul Butler Silvio Olteanu

Butler Olteanu

On air @ 5pm

The WBO European Super-Flyweight Championship

Ellesmere Port ace Paul Butler will face Former Two-Time European Champion Silvio Olteanu for the Vacant WBO European Super-Flyweight title on Saturday 19th December at the Manchester Arena in a crucial must-win fight as he lines up a world title shot next year.

Liam Williams Kris Carslaw

Williams Carslaw

On air @ 5pm

The British & Commonwealth Junior-Middleweight Championships

Celtic rivals Liam Williams and Kris Carslaw will clash for the Commonwealth and Vacant British Junior-Middleweight titles.

Unbeaten Williams who picked up the Commonwealth title last time out, stopping Michael Lomax in the first round will be looking to add another belt to his collection.

The durable Carslaw has picked up four respectable victories on the spin shaping this contest to be an intriguing domestic dust up.

Tom Stalker Craig Evans

Stalker Evans

On air @ 5pm

The Rematch: vacant WBO European Lightweight Championship

It's on! After verbally agreeing to meet once more in the post-fight interview, Tom Stalker and Craig Evans will meet again with the vacant WBO European Lightweight Title on the line.

After ten pulsating rounds of action with the momentum swinging between both men who were throwing and landing plenty of big shots - and a controversial knockdown of Stalker in the ninth round that was ruled a slip - the judges scored it 96-94 (Evans) 97-93 (Stalker) and 95-95.

If the second fight is half as good as the first, fans will be given an early Christmas present in this domestic dustup!