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Billy Joe Saunders outpoints Andy Lee, wins WBO middleweight belt

Andy Lee (right) claims that Billy Joe Saunders (right) was one of the best men he ever faced
19
Dec

Billy Joe Saunders narrowly outpointed Andy Lee over 12 rounds to lift the veteran’s WBO middleweight title on Saturday in Manchester, England. Saunders, who scored two knockdowns in Round 3, won a majority decision by scores of 115-111, 114-112 and 113-113.

Apart from the knockdowns, it was an uneventful matchup of southpaw boxers, neither of whom were willing to take many risks. Lee warmed up a bit down the stretch and tried to hunt Saunders down in final round, which he took decisively, but it was too little, too late.

Saunders (23-0, 12 knockouts), a 26-year-old from Hatfield, Hertfordshire, was the quicker, more fluid puncher and the more agile of the two. Lee (34-3-1, 24 KOs), a 31-year-old Englishman of Irish descent, seemed to be a step behind all night. He lacked the speed and reflexes to clip his younger challenger and he didn’t press hard enough over the second half of the fight to make up for the points he lost in Round 3 due to the knockdowns suffered.

A full report from Manchester by Tom Gray will be posted shortly.



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