Billy Joe Saunders Decisions Willie Monroe, Retains WBO Belt

By Terence Dooley

Copper Box Arena, London - Billy Joe Saunders (25-0, 12 KOs) retained the WBO middleweight title with a twelve round unanimous decision over Willie Monroe Jr. (21-3, 6 KOs). The scores were 117-111, 115-114 and 117-112.

It was Saunders' first bout since retaining his belt for the first time last December in a tough fight with Artur Akavov.

Monroe was coming off a September 2016 decision win over Gabriel Rosado on the Canelo Alvarez-Liam Smith undercard in Texas.


In the end, the pre-fight shenanigans were more interesting than the fight itself as Saunders cantered to a dominant, if tepid, win. The WBO titlist suffered a cut over the right eye after a clash of heads in the fourth round, courtesy of an accidental clash of heads, but maintained control throughout to retain his title.

The American challenger was struck in the groin and kicked at by Saunders's son at the weigh-in, and later claimed that he was the victim of threats and abuse throughout fight week. "The Mongoose", 30, has threatened to take action against Saunders by complaining to the BBBoC yet had the perfect opportunity to get revenge on the 28-year-old on the night only to fail to make his mark on the fight.

Saunders failed to shine against Artur Akavov in December of last year and is fighting for relevance in a division dominated by Gennady Golovkin and Saul Alvarez, his last major statement came against Chris Eubank Jnr. in November 2014 and time is not on his side. There has been talk of an outing in December as he seeks to further his development under new trainer Dominic Ingle, and the former Olympian should take anything he can get in the festive period as he bids to keep himself relevant enough to net a major contest in 2017.

"You can't discredit the man, thanks to him for coming over," said Saunders, before his son apologised for "Punching you (Monroe) in the nuts" at the weigh-in.

"I've got the hunger again working with Dominic," said Saunders. "The main thing in my head tonight was to get through this fight to get to what is next. There was more pressure than this than there would be for Golovkin or Canelo. I beat him on pure boxing, it was a bit boring for the fans but I got the win."

He added: "I'd like to thank Dominic, if it wasn't for Dominic and the Ingle gym I probably wouldn't have been here tonight."

"We need to move on to December, get him out again—hopefully if Golovkin wins and doesn't get banged up we can have that in December," was Frank Warren's take, confirming a December outing. "If Alvarez wins then that is next year, but even if Alvarez loses that is a good fight for Billy."

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by club fighter on 09-18-2017

With Canelo not powerful enough to hurt GGG, and GGG not being able to Land a solid right through the whole fight, BJS actually looks like he might be able to compete with sad as it seems.

Comment by alexguiness on 09-18-2017

Willie Monroe Jnr is fvcking AWFUL. I was hoping this fight would at least be entertaining, but Monroe Jnr had not intention of engaging with BJS at all. BJS looked pretty bad as well, but I think this had more…

Comment by Dasmius Shinobi on 09-18-2017

[QUOTE=kafkod;18059522]I enjoyed this fight .. it was a real boxing match, which is what I expected. Willie has the talent and the athleticism, but he doesn't have the will to win or the spiteful edge to his character that a…

Comment by kafkod on 09-17-2017

I enjoyed this fight .. it was a real boxing match, which is what I expected. Willie has the talent and the athleticism, but he doesn't have the will to win or the spiteful edge to his character that a…

Comment by kafkod on 09-17-2017

[QUOTE=fozze;18058052]Billy joe is to amateurish in his style not taking away how good he is tho. Willie jr is just an emotional wreck and [B]surprisingly his trainer TJ didn't just kick Billy's greasy pikey kid in the face after woping…

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