Wednesday, September 20, 2017  |

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Billy Joe Saunders poor in decision victory over Artur Akavov

03
Dec

Unbeaten British middleweight Billy Joe Saunders looked positively woeful in posting a 12-round unanimous decision over the undistinguished Artur Akavov, but still managed to retain his WBO title in Paisley, Scotland, on Saturday. The official scores were 116-113, 116-112 and 115-113.

Saunders, who is rated No. 3 by THE RING at 160 pounds, looked sluggish from start to finish in this battle of left-handers. His speed of hand and foot was non-existent, sharpness gave way to lethargy and in the face of a more experienced foe, the Englishman would have been in serious danger of losing his title.

“I stunk the place out tonight but I still got the win,” Saunders said after taking the announcers mic to address the crowd. “I shall be embarrassed to talk about (Gennady) Golovkin on that performance but, trust me, he keeps talking about wanting my belt … I want his belt(s). But not on that performance.”

The first half of the fight was relatively even, which was an unwelcome surprise for an expectant Scottish crowd who responded with constant silence. It was clear that Akavov was the sharper fighter and the plucky Russian was finding flaws in Saunders’ game that have rarely been exploited.

The defending titleholder did take control at the midway point and landed some brisk left hands but Akavov (16-2, 7 knockouts) was going nowhere.

In the championship rounds, Saunders looked absolutely exhausted and out of ideas. The challenger opened up to head and body and was busier and more eager down the stretch. It was not enough on the scorecards but Akavov’s stock will surely soar now that he has tested one of the best middleweights in the world.

Saunders (24-0, 12 KOs) won the title by scoring a 12-round majority decision over Andy Lee last December. The one-year layoff has been a product of training injuries and failed negotiations, which ruined fight dates in April and September.

The 27-year-old stylist, who was without career-long trainer Jimmy Tibbs in his corner, will need to regroup and discover his old form in a hurry.

Saunders weighed in officially at 160 pounds with Akavov slightly less at 159.75.

 

Undercard

British junior welterweight contender Jack Catterall (17-0, 9 KOs) overcame a stubborn challenge from Argentina’s Diego Gonzalo Luque to prevail by 10-round unanimous decision. The official tallies were 100-90, 100-89 and 99-91.

Catterall, who is rated No. 7 by THE RING at 140 pounds, got off to a great start and hurt his man with sharp flurries out of the southpaw stance. Unable to finish, however, the Englishman resorted to coasting for most of the rounds, although it appeared that he may have hurt his left hand. The bout was devoid of drama and Catterall definitely requires a stern test.

Former IBF bantamweight titleholder Paul Butler (23-1, 12 KOs) won a 10-round unanimous decision over rough and rugged Mexican Alexander Cazares. The scores were 100-90 twice and 100-91.

The visitor kept the action tight in the early sessions but Butler’s class and experience kept him a step ahead. He pulled away in the later rounds and was very unlucky to sustain a nasty cut over his right eye in the final session. Butler is looking for a world title shot in 2017.

 

Tom Gray is a UK Correspondent/ Editor for RingTV.com and a member of THE RING ratings panel. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing.

  • wayne reid

    Lol horrible fight for BJS imagine Gab Rosado would be a champion if they fought earlier this year

  • Thriller

    Billy Joe Saunders sucks ballz.

    • Robert Archambault

      That’s why he’s called ‘BJ’. Told him something like that on Twitter once and he blocked me. Thin skinned bastard! LOL

    • Robert Archambault

      That’s why he’s called ‘BJ’. Told him something like that on Twitter once and he blocked me. Thin skinned bastard! LOL

  • Rick

    Was gonna watch it on YouTube but on second thought… Anyway, where has Andy Lee been?

    • TMT NYC-DA REAL GHOSTBUSTERS

      Drunk in pub somewhere…..

      • Robert Archambault

        … banging his head against a wall wondering how the hell he ever lost to this clown.

  • JA

    Wow! So, he’s using his own poor performance to basically say he doesn’t deserve the GGG fight next? I guess that’s one way to do it. This is the boxing version of “It’s not you, it’s me.”

  • BN

    This version of BJS looks like he gets beat by GGG, Jacobs, Canelo, rematch with Eubanks, and others.

    • Arjay Cee

      Lemieux, too.

    • Thriller

      ANY version of Saunders gets beat by GGG,Jacobs,Canelo, Lemieux. Those guys blown him outta there.

      • Kudos

        No

        • Ciscostudent561

          Yea

  • TMT NYC-DA REAL GHOSTBUSTERS

    BJS was performing badly on purpose just to avoid having to fight GGG.

    • 60YearOldColonel

      You know, I thought something similar. In that he seemed too keen to grab the mic as quickly as possible afterwards and exploit that performance as a way out of GGG.

      ” See, look how rubbish I am at the moment. No way can I fight GGG”

    • 90s swagger

      Not true.
      He has no desire or dedication to the sport.

    • Thriller

      He was performing badly because he sucks.

      • Kudos

        No

    • Markus Roland

      That would be quite a gamble wouldn’t it? How could he be sure he wouldn’t accidentally perform a bit too badly and lose his belt? Seriously that would take some serious calculation and planning to pull off, especially considering Akavov wasn’t outmatched by BJS to the point where he could play around like that.

      What makes more sense, a boxer who hasn’t fought in over a year is sloppy, or a boxer who has been off for a year skillfully ensured he stayed ahead on points while pretending he was tired and spent after rd.6.

  • ciobanu catalin

    You guys, pls stop , bj s is great guy, lets all get off his back… I mean if he looks that bad against brooms how can we force him into a fight with the big boys let alone ggg. He just want to be called the champ in his neighborhood

  • AllAboutBoxing

    How do you look like shxt against a opponent you hand pick??Smh…and now Saunders want 2 more tune up??..so all of 2017 is gonna be against fighters like today??..what a joke..

    • Robert Archambault

      Who knows? Maybe the next guy he picks will actually beat him. That will pretty much spell the end of BJS as a force in the sport.

      • Kag Ang

        you spelled farce incorrectly

  • AllAboutBoxing

    How do you look like shxt against a opponent you hand pick??Smh…and now Saunders want 2 more tune up??..so all of 2017 is gonna be against fighters like today??..what a joke..

  • IanF69

    Terrible performance from BJS and by the looks of his physic he has been training with Fury down the pub.

    • The Black Mamba

      After this performance, a phone call from Oscar can’t be far away.

      • IanF69

        For some reason I can’t see Canelo wanting another belt that GGG wants……he dropped the last one quick enough before facing him.

  • Oc

    BJS looked terrible….I ask you; whats new?

  • philoe bedoe

    Billie Joe looked terrible.
    His timing was way off, long layoffs is bad enough for any boxer, especially ones who rely on speed and reflexes…………

    • wayne reid

      A couple months ago BJS was talking smack about both Triple G & Canelo like they were easy fights for him lol What’s up with your fav boxer’s performance?

      • philoe bedoe

        For a start, who said he was my favourite boxer? Lol.
        It’s pretty obvious if you follow boxing, that the layoff as done him no good at all.
        But if you read or understood my comment and others on here you’d know that.
        But your not interested in talking about boxing, just coming out with social media sarcastic remarks lol………

        • wayne reid

          You probably forgot soo check your previous post history Billy Joe Saunders & Tyson Fury seem to be your fav fighters I was actually asking you a legit question but hey if that’s your reply cool

          • philoe bedoe

            I mentioned about them being gipsies like myself……….

          • wayne reid

            That’s true but you also said BJS was injured so he refused an earlier fight with Triple G which was lie he actually turned down $1.5 million,& Rosado & then never fought for 11 months

          • philoe bedoe

            He has had a couple of injuries this year, and that is a fact.
            Has for the reasons why certain other fights haven’t been made, it depends on who you want to believe.
            Billie Joe’s team or gennadys team.
            Personally I’ve been more interested in the fights that have happened this year, haven’t you?……….

          • wayne reid

            Okay lets end this…I believe what i watched on youtube proves my point As i mentioned before the Bjs interview where he demanded more $ from GGG to fight is all over Youtube IFL “You have to pay me well! Billy joe saunders……have a watch it’s very comical compared to his last performance

          • philoe bedoe

            I may have a look later……….

          • Stephen M

            Funny how some guys lose their memory like that…

          • philoe bedoe

            Funny how some guys don’t read the rest of the conversation before making a comment lol…………

        • Julio

          That’s a lot of “ifs” to make a point, mate. Just kidding. BJ didn’t make himself any favors by playing hard to get, and on top of that flapping his gums a little too much about guys that he has 0 interest in fighting.

          • philoe bedoe

            “If” is a small word with a big meaning lol.
            Personally i pay no attention to what any boxer says when self promoting themselves.
            It’s what happens in the ring, and he was way off the pace last night, which did make for a more competitive fight than was expected…………..

          • Julio

            Self promoting is fine when your words match your actions. Just yapping to seek validation from the masses will only make you look like a fool in this game. If he was a hard sell before, imagine now after this performance that I have been hearing was absolutely dreadful.

          • philoe bedoe

            It was a bad performance.
            Long layoffs for a boxer who relies on speed, movement, and his reflexes will effect him more than most.
            If he stays injury free and keeps himself in the gym, he has the talent to give any of the other boxers at 160 a good fight.
            But not on last night’s performance………….

          • Julio

            After all the false bravado, NOBODY is going to take this dude seriously if they ever did.

          • philoe bedoe

            Who did you expect him to fight this year?………

          • Julio

            Guy didn’t even want to fight also-rans like Rosado and Monroe. Priced himself out of a GGG fight even though it represented his highest payday by far. Need more evidence?

          • philoe bedoe

            He was injured twice this year.
            How can you expect someone to fight Golovkin with that sort of preparation?
            Even Ward needed three tune up fights after injury to fight Kovalev lol………

          • Julio

            Before the injury, those fights were offered to him and he turned them down. GGG’s team made him an offer, and he also turned it down. This is all well documented.

          • philoe bedoe

            He was injured before his first defence back in April, then he was injured towards the end of the summer.
            Can’t see where there was a window of opportunity to fight Golovkin?………..

          • Julio

            I am referring to his demeanor and attitude towards opportunities that were offered to him. What I am pointing out has nothing to do with his injuries. Can we stay on topic?

          • philoe bedoe

            I am staying on topic.
            One of the reasons the fights were turned down, are his injuries which contributed to his ballooning up to fifthteen stone, meaning he couldn’t take any fight at short notice………..

          • Julio

            Before the injuries, he had already turned down Rosado and Monroe. Dude talked a big game, especially concerning GGG. A formal and substantial offer was made, and he balked again. Its all over the web. No problem rooting for a fighter, but to conveniently dismiss facts, and insert other issues to deviate the attention from the real matter is bias of the highest order.

          • philoe bedoe

            The fights with Monroe and Rosado were to be made in September, Billie Joe’s first defence was due in April against Burzak.
            Which he had to pull out due to an hand injury.
            You talk like he’s some long reigning veteran belt holder, who’s had multiple defences against low level opposition.
            If he looks like his old self in his next fight, then I will be like the rest of you and willing him to take on Golovkin.
            That will be two warm ups before taking on the best in the division.
            It’s got nothing to do with favourite boxers, I haven’t even given Canelo stick, who actually vacated his belt because of Golovkin lol……..

          • philoe bedoe

            It was a bad performance.
            Long layoffs for a boxer who relies on speed, movement, and his reflexes will effect him more than most.
            If he stays injury free and keeps himself in the gym, he has the talent to give any of the other boxers at 160 a good fight.
            But not on last night’s performance………….

  • donvitoandolini

    That dismal showing won’t earn Billy Joe a fight with GGG or even Canelo. A tune-up fight before a rematch with Eubank Jr. is needed.

    • Robert Archambault

      Golovkin would fight him on a moment’s notice with no training camp just to get the last title belt he is missing.

  • learnmore

    BJS believe his own hype, took everything for granted, let his weight blow up over the last year, probably had a fat camp, made poor decisions regarding his corner, bad preparation taking Akavov lightly & he looked rusty in the ring. I’ll wait until his next fight to make a judgement & give him a pass on this one

    • philoe bedoe

      Spot on………..

  • Robert Archambault

    I loved the little blurb BJS gave before the fight about how he totally ignores what people say on Twitter about him and that it doesn’t bother him at all. Total bullshit seeing as he blocked me on Twitter after the first bad thing I had to say about him right after I started posting there. LOL
    As for the ‘fight’ last night, he was lucky to walk away with the win. I think any top 10 ranked fighter from ANY sanctioning body would have taken his title last night. For a few rounds last night, I was thinking of how great it would be for GGG to fight Akavov in Kazakhstan next summer for the 2017 World’s Fair and what a great thing it would be to unify all the titles at home! Unfortunately, Akavov could not pull it off and the dream died a quick death. 🙂

    • IanF69

      He he I was wishin the same and I thought Akavov won………and well done for being blocked…quality.

      • Robert Archambault

        I’m blocked by two people on Twitter, BJS and Fat Dan. I guess Rafael has very thin skin over that thick layer of blubber because I can’t even remember ever directing a post in his direction. LOL

        • IanF69

          Posting pissed is great fun ….until the morning after and you see what shit you’ve said….and who’s blocked you……again..quality.

          • Robert Archambault

            I never post pissed. In fact, I have not had so much as a small buzz on since my heart attack over three years ago. And yes… it’s a damn DRAG!!!!! LOLOL

          • IanF69

            Ahahaha…… Good Man…. and still you are so patient with people..he he.

          • Markus Roland

            Yeah, alcohol sucks anyway, but luckily Trudeau said this spring, 2017, for rec weed legalization.

          • Robert Archambault

            Haven’t smoked weed in decades. It was never a favorite of mine. I always preferred good quality hash which is close to non-existant these days.

      • philoe bedoe

        This is coming from Robert who blocked me because I pulled him up about racist remarks, in a respectful non offensive manner.
        I guess he’s a little sensitive. Lol………..

        • Kudos

          Exactly, he’s infatuated with another man in GGG ffs

          • philoe bedoe

            If he’ll block me, he’ll block anyone lol.
            If there’s one thing I don’t do on this forum is troll anyone or resort to name calling or swearing at someone.
            Can’t blame Billie Joe or Dan Rafael for blocking him, keeps on repeating himself lol……..

        • IanF69

          This site can be a Bear Pit sometimes Philoe…….but I know you have been here long enough to know who the Trolls are and who to avoid….I do the same and like you…I try not to be offensive…Cheers m8

          • philoe bedoe

            You too.
            It’s all fun and games………..

    • Kudos

      You block everyone on twitter you little girl. Why is it your such a GGG sycophant?

  • Robert Archambault

    I loved the little blurb BJS gave before the fight about how he totally ignores what people say on Twitter about him and that it doesn’t bother him at all. Total bullshit seeing as he blocked me on Twitter after the first bad thing I had to say about him right after I started posting there. LOL
    As for the ‘fight’ last night, he was lucky to walk away with the win. I think any top 10 ranked fighter from ANY sanctioning body would have taken his title last night. For a few rounds last night, I was thinking of how great it would be for GGG to fight Akavov in Kazakhstan next summer for the 2017 World’s Fair and what a great thing it would be to unify all the titles at home! Unfortunately, Akavov could not pull it off and the dream died a quick death. 🙂

  • 90s swagger

    Saunders, was an absolute disgrace. He’s has no respect for the sport or keeping himself in good physical condition. And here’s the thing, he will now spend the Christmas period, abusing his body. Gaining another 30-40lbs, and then spend 90% of his next training camp – sweating off the flab.
    No wonder Jimmy tibbs wasn’t in his corner, Jimmy knew full well how embarrassing BJS was going to look, and he wasn’t going to be associated with it. The clown in Saunders corner was about the worst I’ve seen.
    All BJS does, is talk shit on social media. Instead of conducting himself like a world class boxer.

    Just do everyone a favour Billy – mail the belt to GGG.
    And stop embarrassing the sport.

    • stetee83

      Excellent post. I was getting sick and tired of listening to him call out anyone who would listen. If he had shown as much desire in his training and boxing as he does when he’s filming videos calling out GGG after the Brook fight (not forgetting Kell jumped 2 weight divisions), then maybe he could get somewhere in the sport. No way on earth he would ever have the power to trouble Golovkin. I think Eubank Jr would beat him in a re-match if it were to happen

      PS Mail the belt to GGG – classic

      • Mike M.

        I also think Eubank Jr would kick his ass in a rematch. I’d rather not watch them fight again though, especially after seeing how sloppy the first fight was.

      • 90s swagger

        Well said.

      • cawaterguy

        Unfortunately in boxing nowadays, the worse you look, the more that you called out. Saunders will have his pick between GGG, Canelo, and Eubank Jr. All big fights. I think all three beat and probably KO Saunders but Canelo might actually be best style for him. Canelo likes you to come to him and Saunders stays at a distance, potshotting. Even though Eubank Jr is kinda basic, he’ll be ferocious chasing Saunders.

        • ceylon mooney

          well, all a that would be worth watching. alvarez is more of a counterpunching stalker. fun to see lemieux do the la motta on saunders. last year ida said BJS outboxes him but i aint sayin that now. that fight wasnt just an off night.

  • Kag Ang

    GGG has only two years left to unify, and at this rate, BJS’s biggest claim to fame will be as the guy who stopped him from being able to do that by hanging on to a belt he clearly doesn’t deserve.

    He wouldn’t fight Rosado as Rosado was apparantly not in his class, then he comes out with a performance that Rosado would be suicidal about if he ever performed like that.

    WBO needs to do something about this.

  • Joe Abba

    Here’s the thing, though. It works both ways. These twitter “geniuses” will now say that if GGG fights him, he’s another fighter in a “long list” that is a suspect and GGG needs to fight a real contender. Then again we’all hear the nonsense about Ward again. Barf.

  • PrinceGian

    Looking on the positive side, Canelo might be eagre to fight BJS after this performance

    • Kag Ang

      Still not sure what’s going on with Golden Boy and BJS. Golden Boy offered to set Saunders up by putting him on the undercard of Canelo/Smith. Cowboy’s 90,000 seater stadium ,US exposure, PPV, sets up Saunders v Canelo as natural next step, but Saunders ducked Rosado and said ‘does nothing for my career’ (whereas fighting an unknown Russian in a Paisley leasure centre clearly does).

      Golden Boy might be done with him, just don’t know. BJS talking more about GGG now as Golden Boy might be taking the eff you stance.

      Of all the weakling belt holders in all the divisions, Saunders is the undisputed champ of that without a doubt, so just a question of who will pay more for his belt.

      He’s an embarrassment to the WBO, so hopefully the WBO will wake up and try to deal with it and make him fight someone viable, but no guarantees there. The sooner the WBO gets rid of this scumbag the better, then boxing can move on. Until then we are left with what we’ve got; BJS holding a belt hostage and only fighting people he can beat (so far ducking Rosado, Monroe, GGG, Stevens, Lemieux, basically anyone who can fight).

  • kiowhatta

    Saunders is a bum with a belt. That it was hardly a blip on boxings radar only serves to cement that point.
    BJS relevance for most boxing fans is that he is in possession of the final portion of Golovkins MW championship.

    • Kag Ang

      Amen to that. Couldn’t have put it better myself.

  • Joseph Ragusa

    He had better be at his best to last even a few rounds against GGG. He didn’t even look that sturdy in beating Junior Eubank, although I think he probably edged it out.