WBO world middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders has sustained an injury in the run up to his latest world title defense which has forced him out. ________________________________________________________________________________ Billy Joe Saunders (23-0-12KO) has been forced out of his upcoming April 30th showdown with Mateusz Masternak through injury: Saunders was quoted as saying today: "I'm bitterly disappointed. This is boxing and these…
Behind Enemy Lines Boxing Preview – O’Sullivan, Saunders & Chisora
By Niall Doran
Behind Enemy Lines Boxing Preview – Boxing fans will be licking their chops this weekend In a bumper bill at the Wembley Arena featuring some top level British & Irish fighters
Unfortunately Carl Frampton has been ruled out this weekend with an ear drum injury. However the card at the Wembley Arena is still packed with great fights from top to bottom, live on BoxNation.
Starting off with Cork’s own Gary Spike O’Sullivan who defends his WBO international middleweight title against British Olympian and fellow undefeated professional Billy Joe Saunders. I had the pleasure to interview Spike a few weeks back and having spoke to the man I really get a sense that he is incredibly up for this one and genuinely think he has what it takes to cause an upset by stopping Billy Joe inside the distance. However he will have to be at his best to do this, as Saunders is a formidable opponent for any middleweight having shown his class and improvements in recent wins. Stylistically there is not much of a difference in reach. I’d give the edge in punching power to Spike. However the main obstacle for Spike will be dealing with Billy Joe’s slick southpaw boxing style which he has really developed nicely in the last couple of years in particular I feel. I can remember seeing Saunders box live a few years back on the under card of Kevin Mitchell vs Michael Katsidis at West Ham. At the time I remember he won on points but if I’m honest I remember thinking I was not terribly impressed, considering all the hype about him after the Olympics. How wrong I could have been though. Billy Joe since then has come on leaps and bounds both skills wise and physically. I have been very impressed with his improved punching power in his last four or five fights or so, you can tell his legendary London trainer Jimmy Tibbs and his son Mark Tibbs have done an excellent job with him. A close fight for sure with a potential world title shot for the winner. I’m going to go with the upset with a Spike win by TKO, possibly somewhere in the later rounds.
Also on the card is the always colourful and entertaining Dereck Chisora, who is faced with a very real test when he takes on the undefeated American Malik Scott. Scott comes into the fight with an impressive undefeated 36-0-1 record, all be it with just 12 KO’s. There would not be too many world class names on that record, whereas Chisora has fought some of the best of what’s around in the heavyweight division today in just 20 contests as a professional. This is a real 50/50 and one that Chisora badly has to win if he has any aspirations to return to the world title picture any time soon. Fair play to Frank Warren on this one, a lot of promoters might match a fighter like Chisora a little easier given his defeats in recent years to Helenius, Klitshcko and Haye, but yet again he finds himself in a tough fight. Chisora looked lean in a recent interview which shows he has taken this very seriously (as he has been known to come in a little heavier than he should in some fights). My guess is that Scott will try to use his slight reach advantage to keep Chisora at distance in a bid to win a decision. Chisora has to be all over him from the first bell and use his impressive cardio for a big man to wear the American down. It will be interesting to see technically how much he has improved also since his last outing in April against Hector Avila. I always think that Chisora could polish up a little more on his punching technique as sometimes he looks to throw a bit too many ‘arm punches’ and for me I just feel he could be getting a bit more body rotation and leg power into his shots. Maybe this is something that we might see here as I did hear his trainer Don Charles say in an interview not so long ago that they are currently working on a lot of new things to make ‘Del Boy’ a better fighter. I have a feeling we could see a Chisora late TKO in this one if not a razor thin points victory.
All in all a great card this weekend in London, looking forward to it!