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For how long Billy Joe Saunders will keep avoiding true champs?

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Billy Joe Saunders has retained the WBO super-middle weight belt against Martin Murray by a well-deserved unanimous decision last 4 December in London. However, we can obviously see that his career lacks courage in picking up true boxing champions. Will 2021 be the right year for him to commence fighting big names?

We predicted it, we guessed it right and we are all happy. Nothing to say: chirurgical fight based on bringing points home round after round, a true tactical masterpiece! After twelve rounds of near-absolute dominance, Billy Joe Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) had successfully defended the WBO super-middle weight title winning by unanimous decision against the 38-year old compatriot Martin Murray (39-6-1, 17 KOs). His record now reads 30 victories and no defeats.

In contrast, Martin Murray missed a titled chance for the fifth time in a row. Having little to lose and a lot to gain, one would have expected Murray to meet at a high pace and with some extra risk. Instead, blocked from the start by Saunders’ right-handed jabs and the uprights almost always hitting the mark, he failed to impose any attack scheme.

The last bell rings. Murray is still standing, and the boxers embrace each other. The result is net: 120 to 109; 120 to 109; 118 to 110. As soon as they are satisfied with the splendid performance, Saunders and his promoter, Eddie Hearn, discussed about the next opponents. Saunders, who was supposed to meet Canelo Alvarez last May (covid-19 pandemic apparently interrupted the negotiations), commenced dropping names: “Canelo, Andrade, Golovkin”.

Because this is the problem with Billy Joe Saunders: he is deeply knowledgeable on how to beat up a woman, but he has no balls to fight with a true champion. No disrespect for Murray and the other previous opponents, but BJ Saunders has built his career and records avoid punches and big names. And here we go once again: the fight is over and big names are dropped here and there. Names which disappear after a while when it is the crucial moment to pick up the next fight.

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