17th December 2012

Commonwealth champion Billy Joe Saunders came through the hardest test of his professional career against an inspired Nick Blackwell to defend his belt and also claim the vacant British middleweight title with a unanimous points decision at London’s ExCel Arena on Saturday night fulfilling a boyhood dream.

It was a close fight throughout and swung back and forth and Saunders had to raise his game to contain Blackwell, eventually taking a unanimous decision 117-112, 116-113 and 115-114 and the coveted Lonsdale belt, which Saunders said at the post fight press conference meant more to him than a world title.

The fight was in fact closer than the scoring suggested 115-114 tells more of the story and Blackwell can be proud of his efforts. But the impressive Saunders is getting better with each contest, he is a fighting man from travelling stock and is the type to face any man put in front of him.

The 2008 Olympian takes his undefeated professional record to 16-0 and is looking forward to 2013 to further his exciting career. After the fight when speaking to reporters backstage, Saunders was frank in his assessment of the fight with Blackwell and the usually quiet man from Hatfield called out Chris Eubank Jr. when asked who he would like to fight next on the British domestic scene?

And The new Lonsdale belt holder went as far as to say he hates the Brighton prospect, son of the former middleweight champion Chris Snr and said he wants to smash his face in!

“John Ryder is a nice fella and would be a good fight for 2013. Theres Chris Eubank Junior, would love to fight him an arrogant man, I’d smash him to pieces.

“I challenge him out, If he wants to fight me, I’ll fight him tomorrow and Ive just done twelve rounds, I’ll smash him to pieces I hate him he’s just an arrogant man, not a very nice person, his dads the same.

“He’s calling out super-middleweight, I’m a middleweight let him call me out, fight me if he wants to fight anyone.

On the same bill

George Groves retained his Commonwealth super-middleweight title after overcoming the toughest test of his professional career in the form of veteran Glen Johnson with relevant ease.

Groves took a wide points victory over the former IBF world light-heavyweight champion, with judges scores reading 120-107 120-107 119-109 a unanimous decision for Groves.

An impressive Liam Smith won the vacant Commonwealth light-middleweight title with a resounding points victory over Steve O’Meara.

The 24-year-old Scouser floored O’Meara in the first round and remained in control throughout the fight in a one-sided encounter, Smith one of the Liverpool brothers extended his unbeaten record to 14-0 after the judges awarded him a unanimous decision victory that read 116-112 118-110 116-112 on the cards.

Neil Dawson knocked out Tony Conquest in round one in a shock result.
Welterweight prospect Bradley Skeete stopped Chas Symonds in the 4th round. At super featherweight Mitchell Smith finished Igor Tsujev in the 4th and the popular super middleweight Frank Buglioni stopped Ciaran Healy in the second.

video courtesy of NigelTurnerTV