Boxing Results: Saunders schools Murray in one-sided 12 round decision

By Boxing News - 12/04/2020 - Comments

By Doug Gillen: In a masterclass performance, WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) beat back the threat of the old warhorse Martin Murray (39-6-1, 17 KOs) in beating him by a 12 round unanimous decision on Friday night.

Saunders, 31, hit the punching bag-like Murray with nonstop shots in each round and had it easy in cruising to a wide decision victory at the SSE Arena in London, England.

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There were no knockdowns in the contest, but Saunders came close to dropping the 38-year-old Murray in the fifth round after hurting him with a three-punch combination. Ther referee Phil Edwards ruled that it was a slip by Murray, but it didn’t matter.

Saunders had things his way the remainder of the fight and put in the time of performance that he needed to make a case for him getting a big fight.

After the fight, Saunders said he wants the winner of the Canelo Alvarez vs. Callum Smith fight on December 19th. Saunder’s promoter Eddie Hearn added Gennadiy Golovkin to that list, saying that he’s someone that they would like.

This was the type of fight that Saunders needs to be considered by the Canelo-Smith fight winner, but it’s doubtful that Alvarez will face him in early 2021. Canelo is expected to take on Gennadiy Golovkin next May, and it’s not likely that he’ll elect to fight Saunders. That fight won’t interest U.S boxing fans from the States.

Interestingly, Demetrius Andrade, the WBO middleweight champion, expressed interest after the fight in saying that he wants to take on Saunders next. He wasn’t one of the names that Saunders mentioned in waiting to fight.

Billy Joe says he wants to fight at least one of the champions at 168, which means that IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant is now a possible option for him.

If Saunders can’t get any of the champions to fight him, hopefully, he’ll look in the direction of Andrade. He can’t keep fighting lesser fighters like he’s been doing.

“I’ve been out for over a year, and it was like boxing in a cemetery,” said a frustrated looking Saunders after the fight. “I like to perform for the crowd, get up for it. I tried to set a rhythm, but he’s kind of an old fox, and he likes to tie you up well. He was tying me up.

“This is not the type of performance where I’m shouting people’s names about. I’ve been out a year, and I probably needed the rounds. He’s an old fox, fair play to him. He got through it, and I hope he has a good Christmas and he can go back to his family.

“The main thing is, I’m 30-0. I guess I’m getting luckier each fight I get, so let’s see if I can get a big fight and put in a good performance and put a shift in. It was a clean knockdown,” Saunders said of his pull-down of Murray in the fifth.

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“The referee, I’m not a moaner, but there have been previous fights that were close that he’s given against. If that were called a knockdown, I would have adjusted a bit, and maybe I might have got a finish in the 30 or 40 seconds left.

“I didn’t want him to recover so I could give him that burst again, but he let him tie me up. Fair play to Martin; I’m not taking anything away. It was definitely a knockdown, and maybe that could have changed the fight if it was called a knockdown, and it was. If you watch the replay,” said Saunders.

It wasn’t a ruled a knockdown between while Murray was stumbling, Saunders was seen twice pulling him to the canvas with both gloves. Interestingly, Saunders doesn’t remember doing that, but perhaps his memory failed him during the interview.

“I’m not getting any younger, I just turned 31, and I feel like I’m in my prime,” said Billy Joe. “Tonight was strange because the stamina was there, but the timing was off. Listen, it’s a bit of ring rust, and everybody knows I need a rhythm for my boxing skills to come. You can spar and look a million bucks, but when you’re in there under the lights with these little gloves, as you saw there. I’ve bullied him at times, I felt strong, but there was a little bit of rhythm lacking. I think it was ring rust.

“Let’s get the big names out there,” said Billy Joe. “Canelo and Smith are fighting, and Andrade is out there, and there’s the main [Eddie Hearn] to ask. I need a big fight to get up for it to know here we go,” said Saunders.

“Being out of the year, and he’s a rhythm fighter, I felt like it was a great performance,” said Eddie Hearn about Saunders. “Big credit to Martin Murray; he’s tough as old boots.

“Now it’s important that the momentum continue,” Hearn said of Saunders. “He’s got to be a pro now. He’s got to train over Christmas, keep his weight down; he’s got to be ready. When a fighter is as good as Billy Joe Saunders, when they’re in their prime now, we can’t waste the opportunity to find out how good he really is.

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We have not yet seen it because he’s not mixed it with the elite of the elites, Golovin, Canelo, Callum Smith, Demetrius Andrade. All these fights, they must be one of them next. Otherwise, we’re wasting our time; he’s wasting his career.

“People talk about Billy Joe Saunders about potentially being one of the pound-for-pound or the top pound-for-pound fighter in Britain.

“But we can never call him that unless he’s mixing with that level of opposition. So we will do everything we can, and he will fight anyone who thinks people will look at Billy Joe Saunders, and they will take the challenge.

“I know Canelo wants to fight him; I know Callum Smith wants to fight him if he can beat Canelo in December as well. Gennadiy Golovkin, Demetrius Andrade, it was to be,” said Hearn.

“Not one of them wants to fight me,” Saunders said in butting in on Hearn’s conversation. “Not one of them signed the contract. So if they want to fight me that much, get your pens out and sign.

“Listen, any super middleweight out there, let’s get it on. People can criticize me all they want. The main thing, I’m here to fight. Whenever you want to ring me, ring me, and I’ll be ready for the new year, but it has to be a big fight.

“If it’s a big name, I’m fine. If I get knocked out and beat, you’re a better man, but it’ll be completely different on the night. I’m ready to rock and roll,” said Saunders.

“The Demetrius Andrade fight fell away, and there was nothing this year,” said Hearn. “That’s why we fought Martin Murray, and he put in a great performance. Now the pressure is on. The pressure is on us, the pressure is on Billy, and the pressure is on Sky and whoever it is t make sure he goes into a massive fight.

“Otherwise, as I said, we’re going to look back on the career of Billy Joe Saunders and say, ‘What could have been,’ and we’re not prepared to do that. He’s not prepared to do that, and he shouldn’t because we got to find out how good he is.

“He will rise to the levels, and he will be up for those big fights. So let’s find out how good he is in 2021. We will deliver them, and he must stay ready, stay fit, and stay active for the call in early 2021. We got to get it done,” said Hearn.

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“I’m game to get in there and fight,” said Saunders. “So if he gives me a ring, he knows I’ve taken these big fights before. There’s not been a fight where I’ve gone back and said, ‘That’s no good, take it away.’

“Let’s make these big fights happen, give the fans want they want. Let’s give the fan and the general public the good fights that they want, but they’ve got to be big fights, world title fights, unification fights. Listen, everybody wants Canelo, so hopefully, Smith beats him. He beat George Groves, but we all know that Groves was finished and washed up.

“That’s the only name he’s beaten. So let’s see if he comes back this year and beats Canelo. Fair play to him for getting the fight, and I wish him all the best. I hope he does it, but if not, then that’s the fight [Canelo] in the New Year that I want. And off of that performance there, I should take Canelo. Let’s rock and roll,” said Saunders.

For Saunders, this was his seventh consecutive easy mark since 2016:

  • Martin Murray
  • Marcelo Estaban Coceres
  • Shefat Isufi
  • Willie Monroe Jr
  • David Lemieux
  • Artur Akavov
  • Charles Adamu

While it’s good that Saunders has been winning each time out, he really needs to step it up already. The above list of soft opponents for Saunders constitutes the last four years of his career, which’s very disappointing.

Those are the type of fighters that Saunders should have fought years ago, not in his prime.