THE WBO WORLD MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
BILLY JOE SAUNDERS UD12 (116-113, 116-112, 115-113) VS. ARTUR AKAVOV
12 X 3 Minute Rounds
Undefeated WBO Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders won a twelve round unanimous decision over Russian Artur Akavov in the first defence of his World title at the Paisley Lagoon Centre in Glasgow, Scotland.
It wasn’t a vintage performance but Champions always find a way and Saunders got the job done. After the final bell sounded he was his own harshest critic, addressing his below par performance and admitting that he was suffering from ring rust after a 12-month absence from the ring.
Speaking to the BoxNation cameras after the fight, an honest Saunders admitted it was a terrible performance: “I’ve been out of the ring for a year and was a bit overweight. Tonight, was really, really flat and I want to apologise to the fans. I’m an honest man, that was terrible.
“That was not a World Champion performance. Most British fighters perform better than that, but a win’s a win. I’m happy that I performed like that against him rather than someone like Canelo or Golovkin.”
In a touch of class, Hatfield star Saunders invited young cancer survivor and boxing fanatic Lee Welsh into the ring after his fight: “I’d like to invite someone else into the ring tonight. He’s been through a lot. This young man has just overcome cancer and won his first fight back yesterday so he’s the Champion tonight.
Saunders signed off by raising the young warrior’s arm into the air, telling everyone to “watch out for the future star” as the fans in the arena applauded Lee.
THE WBO INTER-CONTINENTAL SUPER-LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
JACK CATTERALL UD12 (100-89, 99-91, 100-90) VS. DIEGO GONZALO LUQUE
12 X 3 Minute Rounds
The evening’s chief-support saw Chorley Super-Lightweight star Jack Catterall make the fifth successful defence of his WBO Inter-Continental title against Argentinian Diego Gonzalo Luque.
The usually slick southpaw dominated proceedings as he took the fight 100-89, 99-91 and 100-90 on the judges’ scorecards. 23-year-old Catterall injured both of his hands in the first round but pushed on to secure another comfortable victory.
Speaking to the Lancashire Evening post after his fight a disappointed Catterall said: “From rounds one and two I felt both of my hands go. I didn’t feel like Luque was offering much but I just couldn’t get through the gears.
“I felt fit and strong going into the fight but as soon as my hands went, it made it much harder, I’m going to have to get the seen to.
“I’ve got to take the positives from this in that it’s another victory and another defence of my title. Next year, I’ve got to get my hands fixed early and after that I want challenging and meaningful fights.”
10 X 3 Minute Rounds International Bantamweight Contest
PAUL BUTLER WPTS10 (100-90) VS. ALEXANDER CAZARES
Ellesmere Port sensation Paul Butler is still on course for a second World title at Bantamweight after a solid points victory over Mexico’s Alexander Cazares. The ‘Baby Faced Assassin’ looked in impressive form once again in his second outing under new trainer Joe Gallagher and took every round in front of the BoxNation cameras.
Butler suffered a deep gash above his right eye after a clash of heads in the final round as he advanced 23-1 with 12 KO’s.
Speaking after his fight Butler said: “I thought I was boxing well until the head clash. It was a decent performance up until then. Cazares is good on the counter and likes to throw with you. Everything was working off the jab.
Trainer Joe Gallagher said: “That’s 20 rounds under the belt. I was pleased with that performance. There’s no need to take chances with a kid like that. The division is packed with good World Champions. The obvious choices are Lee Haskins and Jamie McDonnell.
8 X 3 Minute Rounds International Lightweight Contest
STEVEN LEWIS KO4 (1.14) VS. NELSON ALTAMARINO
In the night’s first televised bout Scouse banger Steven Lewis racked-up another impressive KO win against Spain-based Nicaraguan Nelson Altamirano.
An impressive wave of pressure in the fourth round forced the stoppage win for Lewis. A solid combination nearly put Altamirano through the ropes and the referee waved off the contest.
The Everton Red Triangle fighter moved to 13-0 (7 KO’s) with a near punch-perfect display and will now look towards securing title fights in 2017.