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“Superb” Saunders outclasses Matthew Hall

By Simon Allen: Billy Joe Saunders defended his British and Commonwealth Titles in a near shut out unanimous decision against Matthew Hall on Thursday night. Saunders needed to put a big performance after a much maligned showing against Nick Blackwell last time out and did exactly that. Coming into the ring Saunders looked the much bigger man and made his size height and reach count throughout the fight.

Hall had previously stated that his plan was to wear Saunders down and the fight started at a furious pace, Hall pushing forward aiming clubbing shots to the body and trying to pin Saunders on the ropes. Billy Joe negated his offence with deft slick footwork dancing round the ring and picking Hall of with ram rod jabs and impressive quick combinations.

The early rounds carried on at a fast pace and Saunders showed off his boxing skills keeping out of Halls reach. Halls almost Tyson like head movement and pressure were proving no match as he was constantly picked off and hit with more solid combinations, it was evident that Hall didn’t belong at Middleweight having moved up as the size difference was telling.

Round 5 was Halls best round as Saunders took a breather from the fast pace, and he was able to land a few clubbing punches to the head and body as he hunted his man down. Saunders responded at the end of the round with some fast powerful combinations of his own as Hall was constantly caught coming in.
The middle rounds saw the pace slow as Saunders started landing thudding rights body of Hall who kept moving forward taking punishment, showing true heart and grit, but all to no avail. By round 9 Hall’s corner realizing they were well behind and this was probably Hall’s last chance to win the belts sent him out again, this time he came out with more intent, Saunders however easily danced away from his onrushing opponent landing precision punches thorough out, proving to any doubters that his stamina was up to scratch.
By round 10 Hall was noticeably tired and shipping punishment Two big right hooks to the body from Saunders had Hall in trouble and Saunders tried to finish him off landing stunning combinations to head and body but still the durable and brave Hall tried fighting back, it looked as if the referee would stop the fight but Hall cleverly dropped his gum shield, showing his experience to gain precious seconds to recuperate.

To Hall’s credit he was a well beaten man but continued to come forward applying pressure and throwing big hooks, Saunders easily avoided him and a tired Hall now unable to move his head took constant punishment until the final bell.

The judges gave Saunders an obvious Unanimous decision with scores of 120-108, 120-109, 119-110 I had Saunders winning every round, but such was Hall’s bravery he probably deserved a round.

Afterward Saunders praised his opponent mentioning it was his “toughest fight so far.” Similarly Hall admitted to taking a beating and that Saunders was the best fighter he had been in with. Hall also claimed he will probably retire although given the performance he gave he still has much to offer the British boxing scene.

Saunders promoter Frank Warren gave credit to Matthew Hall and stated his belief that Billy Joe will be fighting for a European Title soon and then concentrating on aiming for a Word Title fight, which on this showing Billy Joe is more than ready for. He also stated his belief that Billy Joe could move up in weight sooner rather than later.

Billy Joe also called out unbeaten British middleweight John Ryder promoted by match rooms Eddie Hearn, Ryder is (14/0/0 8KO) and would make an interesting British match up.

The undercard featured a rematch between Welterweights Bradley Skeete and Peter Mcdonagh for the BBBofC Southern Area Welterweight title over ten rounds. Last time out Skeete took the decision in a close fought fight, this time was different Skeete used superior speed and movement with combinations to dominate his ten year older opponent winning a clear decision. Skeete will be looking to move up in competition and could be within a year aiming to fight the likes of Frankie Gavin and co. Skeete should maturity after the fight stating he was in no rush and still had more to learn.

British Super Flyweight Paul Butler stopped opponent Anwar Alfadli in comprehensive fashion with a stunning knock out in the fourth round. He showed his confidence and skills throughout the fight and his power with a brilliant right hook come uppercut which knocked the senses out of outclassed Alfadli.

Experienced Amateur Cruiserweight Simon Valilly, in his first pro fight outpointed Simeon Cover over four rounds. Valilly looked powerful and showed good technique throughout but appeared hasty in trying to secure the knock out nerves surely played a part in this but Valilly showed he could be a talent for the future.

Middleweight Tom Baker also secured a straight forward win over his opponent taking a clear points decision. As well as light weight Billy Morgan who showed brilliant boxing technique and poise to outclass his opponent Dan Carr, Morgan definitely looks a talent and will move up the ranking fast with the skills he has in his repertoire. Lightweight John Dignum secured a good confidence booster over Kieron Gray scoring a points decision.

Overall Billy Joe Saunders secured the impressive win he needed and proved he has the ability to fight for bigger and better things, the way he outclassed a game Matthew Hall should silence a lot of his doubters and future world champion is not an unfair description.

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