By Jake Donovan
Billy Joe Saunders and Matthew Hall both easily made weight for their domestic middleweight title fight Thursday evening at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London.
Saunders (16-0, 10KO) came in at 159.5 lb, slightly heavier than Hall, who tipped the scales at a lean 159 lb.
“It’s fight time, I can’t wait to get in the ring tomorrow night,” insists Saunders, who fought on the Great Britain Olympic Boxing squad as an 18-year old during the 2008 Beijing Games. “My training’s gone perfect, the weight’s great and now I’m ready to fight.”
The fight represents a stern challenge for Saunders, though he enters on the heels of impressive wins over Nick Blackwell and Jarrod Fletcher in his two most recent affairs. The 23-year old is aware of the challenge in front of him, likewise for his opponent.
“Hall’s got the experience, “Saunders admits, though without a trace of intimidation. “[B]ut I’m ready to put on the best performance of my career.”
Hall stumbles in having dropped five of his last eight, but proving to be a tougher out since moving back up to the middleweight division. The Mancunian journeyman recognizes the win-or-go-home nature of the fight and is poised for a career-defining performance.
“Saunders is a good (regional) champion, but I’ve prepared hard and now I’ve got to do the business in the ring tomorrow night,” states Hall. “I fight best when my back’s up against the wall and I’m looking forward to fighting Saunders in his backyard.”
Also appearing on the card, unbeaten 6’1” welterweight Bradley Skeete (10-0, 4KO) faces Darryl Still (10-5, 0KO) in a scheduled 10-round bout. Both fighters tipped the scales at 146.5 lb.
The show airs live on BoxNation in the U.K., with coverage set to begin 7PM local time.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox