Billy Joe Saunders

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Billy Joe Saunders
Billy joe saunders - wembley 2011.11.05.jpg
Saunders in 2011
Real name Billy Joe Saunders
Rated at Middleweight
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)
Nationality British
Born (1989-08-30) 30 August 1989 (age 25)
Welwyn Garden City,
Stance Southpaw
Boxing record
Total fights 21
Wins 21
Wins by KO 11
Losses 0
Draws 0
No contests 0

Billy Joe Saunders (born 30 August 1989) is a British boxer who represented Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Olympics. As a professional he remains undefeated, and is the current Commonwealth champion in the middleweight division, as well as a former British and European middleweight champion.


Originally from Cheshunt, Saunders grew up in a Romani travelling community near Hatfield, Hertfordshire and fought at Hoddesdon Amateur Boxing Club.[1][2][3]

Boxing career[edit]


Saunders won his first 49 amateur fights at senior level in a row, including the 2007 Commonwealth Championships[4] and the 2008 Strandya Cup, edging out Cuban Carlos Banteux.[5]

Saunders (right) fighting Gary Boulden in 2011

In 2008 Saunders qualified for the Beijing Olympics in the welterweight division at the age of 18.[6] At the European area qualifier in Pescara, Italy he beat European champion Andrey Balanov and Kakhaber Zhvania, but lost in the semi-final to Oleksandr Stretskyy before beating Pavol Hlavačka for the all-important third spot.[7] to become the first person from the British Romanichal community to qualify for the games.[8]

In Beijing he beat Adem Kılıççı in the first round but lost to old foe Carlos Banteux in the second.
He was subsequently suspended for "lewd behaviour", allegedly pertaining to an incident with a local woman during a pre-season training camp in France.[9] In early December 2008, Saunders turned professional and signed with promoter Frank Warren.


Saunders made his professional debut on 28 February 2009 at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, against Attila Molnar. Saunders looked confident from the opening bell, landing hard combinations which quickly overwhelmed Molnar. In round two, a series of punches that landed flush on Molnar's chin caused the referee to stop the fight and save a dazed Molnar. Saunders won his second fight by second-round stoppage of Ronny Gabel and his third fight, also by second round stoppage, of Matt Scriven. On 9 October 2009, he went four full rounds to outpoint Alex Spitko. On 21 May 2011, he scored an impressive second-round knockout victory over Kevin Hammond.[10] Saunders went on to score wins against Norbert Szekeres, Gary Boulden and Tony Hill, the last of these giving him his seventh professional knockout victory and his first major regional title, the Commonwealth middleweight championship, on 28 April 2012.[11] For his first defence of the title, on 1 June, Saunders went the full twelve-round distance (also a first) against veteran Bradley Pryce, outpointing him comfortably. A then-undefeated Jarrod Fletcher was quickly dispatched in two rounds on 14 September.

On 15 December, Saunders fought Nick Blackwell for the vacant British middleweight title. This turned out to be one of Saunders' first tough outings, as he was forced to go the full twelve rounds en route to a competitive unanimous decision victory on the judges' scorecards.[12] A pair of trouble-free fights came next, against tough slugger Matthew Hall on 21 March 2013 and Gary O'Sullivan on 20 July, both of which also lasted twelve full rounds. 2013 concluded for Saunders with another tough fight on 21 September, this time against fellow British prospect John Ryder in defence of both the Commonwealth and British middleweight titles. Both fighters came in undefeated and fought for twelve competitive rounds, with very close scorecards all favouring Saunders.[12]

It would be almost another year until Saunders had his next fight. On 26 July 2014 he added to his title collection with an eighth-round knockout of Emanuele Blandamura, earning him the European middleweight title.[13] Immediately after the Blandamura fight, Saunders called out another undefeated British prospect and arch rival Chris Eubank, Jr.[14] Prolonged negotiations ensued between Frank Warren and Eubank, Jr.'s team (led by his father Chris Eubank, Sr.), with the highly anticipated fight eventually signed in October[15] and taking place on 29 November. All three of Saunders' titles were on the line, as well as being an eliminator for the WBO world middleweight title. The rivalry and build-up was likened to the first fight between Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank in 1990.[16] Saunders went on to defeat Eubank, Jr. via split decision; two judges had scores of 115–114 and 115–113 for Saunders, with the third judge scoring 116–113 for Eubank, Jr.

With the win over Eubank, Jr., Saunders was in line for an opportunity to fight WBO world middleweight champion Andy Lee. In February 2015, Saunders and Warren accepted a 'step-aside' financial offer from promoter Lou DiBella in order for Lee to face Peter Quillin instead.[17][18] Warren said that he hoped for Lee to win that fight so that Saunders vs. Lee can be staged in the summer. At around the same time, due to his high ranking, Saunders also received an offer from the IBF to fight for their vacant world middleweight title, but he reiterated his intention to follow the WBO route.[19]

Professional boxing record[edit]

21 wins (11 knockouts, 9 decisions), 0 losses, 0 draws[20]
Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
Win 21–0 Chris Eubank, Jr. SD 12 2014-11-29 ExCeL Arena, London WBO world middleweight title eliminator.
Retained EBU, Commonwealth and BBBofC middleweight titles.
Win 20–0 Emanuele Blandamura KO 8 (12), 2:58 2014-07-26 Phones 4u Arena, Manchester Won vacant EBU middleweight title.
Win 19–0 John Ryder UD 12 2013-09-21 Copper Box Arena, London Retained Commonwealth and BBBofC middleweight titles.
Win 18–0 Gary O'Sullivan UD 12 2013-07-20 Wembley Arena, London Won WBO International middleweight title.
Win 17–0 Matthew Hall UD 12 2013-03-21 York Hall, London Retained Commonwealth and BBBofC middleweight titles.
Win 16–0 Nick Blackwell UD 12 2012-12-15 ExCeL Arena, London Retained Commonwealth middleweight title.
Won BBBofC middleweight title.
Win 15–0 Jarrod Fletcher TKO 2 (12), 2:42 2012-09-14 York Hall, London Retained Commonwealth middleweight title.
Win 14–0 Bradley Pryce UD 12 2012-06-01 York Hall, London Retained Commonwealth middleweight title.
Win 13–0 Tony Hill TKO 1 (10), 0:30 2012-04-28 Royal Albert Hall, London Won vacant Commonwealth middleweight title.
Win 12–0 Tommy Tolan TKO 1 (8), 1:07 2011-12-14 Royal Albert Hall, London
Win 11–0 Gary Boulden PTS 10 2011-11-05 Wembley Arena, London Won BBBofC Southern Area middleweight title.
Win 10–0 Norbert Szekeres TKO 1 (8), 2:51 2011-10-15 Echo Arena, Liverpool
Win 9–0 Kevin Hammond TKO 2 (8), 3:00 2011-05-21 The O2 Arena, London
Win 8–0 Turgay Uzun RTD 2 (8), 3:00 2011-04-02 York Hall, London
Win 7–0 Tony Randell TKO 2 (6), 0:39 2010-12-11 Echo Arena, Liverpool
Win 6–0 Andy Butlin PTS 6 2010-05-15 Boleyn Ground, London
Win 5–0 Lee Noble PTS 6 2009-12-05 Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle upon Tyne
Win 4–0 Alex Spitko PTS 4 2009-10-09 York Hall, London
Win 3–0 Matt Scriven TKO 2 (4), 1:21 2009-07-18 MEN Arena, Manchester
Win 2–0 Ronny Gabel TKO 2 (4), 1:16 2009-05-15 The Odyssey, Belfast
Win 1–0 Attila Molnar TKO 2 (4), 1:47 2009-02-28 National Indoor Arena, Birmingham Professional debut.

Titles in boxing[edit]

Title last held by
Martin Murray
Commonwealth middleweight champion
28 April 2012 – present
Title last held by
Martin Murray
British middleweight champion
15 December 2012 – 12 March 2015
Title last held by
Vitor Sa
WBO International middleweight champion
20 July 2013 – present
Title last held by
Max Bursak
EBU middleweight champion
26 July 2014 – 7 March 2015


  1. ^ Hart, Simon (17 February 2008). "Billy Joe Saunders after Beijing Olympic gold". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  2. ^ "Saunders one fight from Beijing". Ipswich Star. Archant. 28 February 2008. Retrieved 2014-11-04.
  3. ^ "Billy Joe Saunders wants to be first Gypsy world champion". BBC Sport. BBC. 3 September 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-04.
  4. ^ "CommonwealthChamps2007". Retrieved 6 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "Strandjata2008". Retrieved 6 September 2011. 
  6. ^ "BBC SPORT | Olympics | GB boxers secure Beijing places". BBC News. 1 March 2008. Retrieved 6 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "European Olympic Qualifications – 1 – Pescara, Italy". Retrieved 6 September 2011. 
  8. ^ Dennis, Chris (18 March 2008). "Bbc Sport". BBC News. Retrieved 6 September 2011. 
  9. ^ "BBC SPORT | Olympics | Boxing | Boxer Saunders protests innocence". BBC News. 21 August 2008. Retrieved 6 September 2011. 
  10. ^ "Boxing Results and Boxing News". BoxingNews365. Retrieved 6 September 2011. 
  11. ^ "Billy Joe Saunders Next Fight". BoxingReplays. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Davies, Gareth A. (28 November 2014). "Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr – where the fight will be won and lost". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  13. ^ Barnett, Phil (27 July 2014). "Billy Joe Saunders overcomes Emanuele Blandamura for European Middleweight Title". Daily Mail. DMG Media. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  14. ^ "Saunders: If Chris Eubank Jr. Has a Pair, Let's Fight!". BoxingScene. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  15. ^ Warren, Frank (9 October 2014). "Frank Warren column: Dealing with Chris Eubank was a nightmare but we've finally got Billy Joe Saunders vs Eubank Jr signed". The Independent. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  16. ^ Dooley, Terence (29 November 2014). "Looking Back at The Year Leading Up To Benn-Eubank". BoxingScene. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  17. ^ Kim, Steve (3 February 2015). "DiBella Offers Clarification on Lee-Saunders Scenario". BoxingScene. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  18. ^ Warren, Frank (7 February 2015). "Frank Warren on Saunders' Shot, Froch, Kessler, More". BoxingScene. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  19. ^ Donovan, Jake (12 February 2015). "Saunders passes on IBF/N'Dam, wants Lee-Quillin winner". BoxingScene. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  20. ^ "Billy Joe Saunders – Boxer". Retrieved 6 September 2011. 

External links[edit]