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21 OCTOBER 2018

Where am I? Home Fight Reports

Saunders outpoints Monroe to retain

By Steven Bateson


Billy Joe Saunders retained his WBO Middleweight Championship with a unanimous points victory over America’s Willie Monroe Jnr in what was a lacklustre main event at the Copper Box, London.

The two southpaws did not combine in a fan friendly style and the majority of the rounds were devoid of any kind of mouthwatering action. Saunders worked well off of his lead right hand but in reality he was barely threatened by Monroe, who displayed practically no desire to walk away as a world champion.

Saunders looked the stronger and from round four onward he utilised that strength to hustle and harry his opponent, pushing him against the ropes and unloading with the occasional power punch. The champion was cut over the right eye from a head clash and the sight of blood momentarily sparked Monroe into life but it did not last long and he reverted back to his bizarre and subdued style, throwing nothing but a jab throughout. The last thirty seconds of round eight probably delivered the most action of the fight as Saunders landed a counter left hand and followed up with a left uppercut. He had Monroe backed up on the ropes where he unloaded a right hand to the side of the skull. Monroe decided in the last two rounds to throw some punches, arguably he won both, but I cannot fathom what his tactics were beforehand. I can’t knock the choice of Monroe as an opponent (he has mixed in good company) but for some reason he may as well have not traveled because the fans were not given their money’s worth. Saunders needed this fight (only second fight in 21 months and the ring rust became evident late on) but as a world champion he now needs better and more dynamic opposition because he was able to win this fight purely off of his workrate and jab. Quick note on the timing of the main event as well because ring walks at 23:45 are pretty much ridiculous and should be stopped, not fair on the paying customers at all.

Scorecards read: 117-111, 117-112 and a very strange 115-114


Anthony Yarde (13-0 with 12 KO’s) continued his impressive power punching career as he dismantled Norbert Nemesapati in three rounds of a scheduled twelve for the WBO European Light Heavyweight Championship. Nemesapati was a late replacement for Canada’s Ryan Ford and he looked at least a weight division out of his depth in a seriously unnecessary piece of matchmaking. Nemesapati was dropped twice in round two, the first a five punch pummeling in the corner, and he displayed heart to carry on but in reality it should have been waved off there and then. Nemesapati was forced to endure another three minutes of punishment before his corner pulled him out, something referee Steve Gray should have done much earlier. Frank Warren and Yarde, himself, have talked up his credentials but he needs much more sufficient tests than this because he is using these opponents as nothing more than punchbags. Yarde was forced to weigh in twice for this fight and is extremely tight at 175lbs so we’ll wait and see whether he sticks to this division.

Yarde was supposed to meet Hosea Burton in an eliminator for the British Title but he and his team deemed him much bigger than that fight but the truth is that he isn’t until he wins them. Yarde is athletic, uses his feet and jab very well, and has dynamite in both hands but it is now time to test him against the best in Britain , at the very least, because this resembled nothing more than a playground bullying.


Jake Pettitt outpointed Stefan Sashov over four rounds to move his Super Bantamweight ledger to 2-0. London’s Pettitt was given a good workout but was always in control as he was awarded a 40-36 win.


Zak Chelli (3-0 with 1 KO) went six rounds with Adam Jones and won a decision, registering his third straight professional victory. Chelli was overeager to make a statement and threw bombs from the get go but soon found out that Jones was not going to just wilt under fire, forcing him to change tactics and prepare for the long haul. Chelli is only 19 so plenty of time to learn and progress, taking his time and using his jab will become priority number one to stop himself gassing the way he did in this contest. The referee scored the fight: 60-55


Heavyweight sensation Daniel Dubois wasted no time in winning his first professional title by crushing AJ Carter inside a minute of the first round, picking up the Southern Area Championship and moving to 5-0. Dubois is a monstrous proposition and he marched across the ring, using his jab to find the range, and then unloaded a big right which dropped Carter instantly. There was barely thirty seconds on the clock as Carter got back to his feet but was soon down again as Dubois looked to close the show. It was the third and final knockdown which ended proceedings, a cannonball of a right hand which rendered Carter completely unconscious and in need of medical attention. It is safe to say that Dubois is head and shoulders above this kind of level, even at 20 years old, and promoter Frank Warren will want to move him along as quickly as possible because he is destined for very big things.


Another debutante victory, this time Tamworth’s Ryan Hatton took out Jack Davies in three rounds of a scheduled four. The Light Heavyweight had an impressive amateur career and there are high hopes for him in the paid ranks.


Ilford’s Hamzah Sheeraz made an impressive debut with a second round blowout of Duane Green. Sheeraz sparkled for the get go and then dropped Green heavily at the start of round two. Green rose but Sheeraz showed no remorse as he pounced for the finish, bringing joy to his very vocal fanbase. The Welterweight division may have a prospect to watch here.


Highly touted Super Middleweight, Umar Sadiq made his professional debut with a four round shutout over Lewis van Poetsch. Sadiq, who represented Nigeria as an amateur, displayed some impressive and slick skills as he recorded all four rounds on the referee’s scorecard.



Surrey’s Lerrone Richards extends his unbeaten record to 9-0 (3KO’s) with a six round decision over Ferenc Albert. The Hungarian opponent was dropped in the first round but got up to see out the contest, which was dominated by Richards. Referee’s scorecard read: 60-53

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