Billy Joe Saunders

Billy Joe Saunders

Date of Birth: 30th August 1989
Class: Middleweight
Weight: 163lbs
Height: 5ft 11in (180cm)
Trainer: Jimmy Tibbs
Career Achievements

WBO World Middleweight Champion (2015 - present)
European Middleweight Champion (2014 - 2014)
WBO International Middleweight Champion (2013 - 2015)
British Middleweight Champion (2012 - 2015)
Commonwealth Middleweight Champion (2012 - 2015)

British Southern Area Middleweight Champion (2011)

Latest BoxNation Fight

3rd December 2016 - UD win v Artur Akavov

Billy Joe Saunders

Hatfield ace Billy Joe Saunders qualified for the Beijing Olympics in 2008 at the age of 18. He turned professional with Frank Warren later that year and his career has gone from strength to strength ever since.

The tricky southpaw has emerged as Britain's best middleweight, and after winning the British, European, Commonwealth and WBO International Middleweight titles, he's now the WBO's mandatory world title challenger.

Saunders became the WBO World Middleweight Champion in December 2015 with a pulsating win over Andy Lee.

Saunders and Fletcher

Unbeaten Hatfield southpaw Saunders enjoyed a 2012 which propelled him from being a hot prospect to being seen as the real deal.

He first won the vacant Commonwealth title after powering through Tony Hill in just 30 seconds as professional boxing returned to the Royal Albert Hall before successful defences against Bradley Pryce and Aussie Jarrod Fletcher.

Saunders then added the vacant British Middleweight title to his collection with a confident unanimous decision win over up-and-comer Nick Blackwell to round off a stunning year for the young fighter.

Moving into 2013, Saunders wasn't showing any signs of slowing down as he put away veteran Matthew Hall with a comfortable unanimous decision.

Saunders added the WBO International Middleweight crown to his collection as he stole away Gary O'Sullivan's undefeated record with a masterful performance.

The popular southpaw beat fellow Brit John Ryder in a British and Commonwealth title defence in September 2013 to move him one more defence away from winning the Lonsdale middleweight belt outright.

Returning from a hand injury in July 2014, Billy Joe Saunders won the European title with a fantastic stoppage after a hard fight with previously 22-0 Italian Emanuele Blandamura.

Bad Blood: Saunders v Eubank Jr

Saunders fought Chris Eubank Jr as the chief support for the Bad Blood show, following a drawn-out and dramatic build-up to the fight.

Billy Joe Saunders v Chris Eubank Jr

The Hatfield ace won by a split decision, securing his Londsdale belt outright and making him a mandatory contender for the WBO Middleweight World Championship in a bruising encounter.

WBO World Middleweight title win against Andy Lee

Twice in 2015, as mandatory challenger, Saunders had been due to face fellow traveller and Ireland's WBO World Middleweight Champion Andy Lee, only for those bouts to be postponed through illness and injury.

It was third time lucky for Saunders as the fight finally went ahead in December 2015. The Hatfield ace knocked Lee down twice en route to a majority decision win.


Injury frustration

In March 2016, it was announced that Saunders would make his first defence against the WBO's number 11 ranked contender Max Bursak live at the Copper Box Arena, London, on April 30. Unfortunately Saunders sustained injury resulting in his maiden World Title defence to be delayed.

Later in the year the Hatfield fighter was then set to face Artur Akavov at Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena in October. This was delayed, again due to injury, with the contest pushed back to November.

First Title defence in Scotland

Saunders made the first defence of his belt against Akavov at the Paisley Lagoon Centre near Glasgow. The proposed November date was pushed back by a week because of complications with Akavov's medical papers.

The Russian came into the bout with a 16-1 record and was ranked at 13 with the WBO. He made an impressive start to the contest against an out-of-sorts Billy Joe, but the Champion grew into the fight gradually and earned a win on the scorecards.

After admitting it was not one of his best showings, Saunders also spoke of having one more fight early next year, possibly a mandatory defence, before facing either Gennady Golovkin or Canelo. After the fight he invited a young cancer survivor into the ring.