By Alexey Sukachev
York Hall, London - Rising commonwealth champion Billy Joe Saunders (14-0, 9KOs) retained his title with a dominating twelve round unanimous decision over Bradley Pryce (33-11, 18KOs). Saunders easily won nearly every round. Pryce was game and hung around, despite suffering a bruised and battered left eye in the early rounds. The scores were 120-109, 120-108 and 120-109.
Super middleweight prospect Frank Buglioni (5-0, 3KOs) punished Jody Meikle (3-21), but he was unable to stop him inside the distance. Buglioni won by the ref's sole score of 60-54.
Featherweight Stephen Smith (15-1, 8 KOs) interrupted his recent series of the first-round kayos and was forced to go the distance against tough Venezuelan Jose Luis Graterol (14-15-4, 5 KOs) in a tune-up bout. Smith, who is trying to rebound from his punishing loss to Lee Selby, was very aggressive in the first and often pinned the Latino fighter to the ropes. However, no knockdowns were scored, and Graterol has slowly re-adjusted himself to the opponent to survived till the very end of this encounter without taking much punishment. Referee Jeff Hinds confirmed Smith's efforts were effective by revealing his sole score: 80-72 - for Stephen Smith.
Tom Baker (1-0) didn't particularly impress in his pro debut but scored a well-earned decision over Danny Brown (3-6-1) over four. The sole scorecard was 40-36 in his favour.
Previously undefeated Lewis Pettitt (8-0, 4 KOs) was taken to the limit by limited Scottish journeyman Gavin Reid (6-14-1, 3 KOs) in a rough fight that lasted six rounds. Pettitt was more skilled but Reid used all his experience and toughness not to lose anything easy. At the end, referee Jeff Hinds who was a sole judge of the fight had it closely 59-57 - for Pettitt. Reid has lost his eleventh straight fight.
The new "Baby Faced Assassin" (this time its British version) Mitchell Smith (1-0, 1 KOs) made a devastating debut stopping shopworn veteran James Ancliff (11-22-2, 2 KOs) in the third round. Smith, 19, a former amateur standout from London, looked better in the first, faced some problems in the second and impressively overcame them in the third. The end came at 1:38 of the round, when Smith pinned his opponent to the corner and started a continuous series of punches which forced referee Ken Curtis to wave the contest off.
Well-travelled journeyman Lee Noble (15-22-3, 3 KOs) scored two knockdowns to spoil a the perfect record of previously unbeaten John Dignum (1-1) after four rounds. The sole scorecard read as follows: 38-36 - for Noble, who has outpointed Phil Fury in his previous fight.
--------------Tags: Lee Noble , Billy Joe Saunders , Frank Buglioni , Bradley Pryce , Saunders-Pryce , Saunders vs Pryce