Today at 5:30 pm ET, you can tune in RIGHT HERE on Bad Left Hook and watch the action from London, as Billy Joe Saunders defends the WBO middleweight title against Willie Monroe Jr.
The main event is expected to begin at 6:30 pm ET, and we’ll have live, round-by-round coverage for the bout as well as the streaming video.
Saunders (24-0, 12 KO) is making his second defense of the title, which he won against Andy Lee in December 2015. He defended last December against Artur Akavov. Monroe (21-2, 6 KO) is challenging for a world title for the second time, the first coming in May 2015, a loss to Gennady Golovkin.
Also featured on the stream will be unbeaten light heavyweight prospect Anthony Yarde (12-0, 11 KO). He’ll be taking on journeyman Norbert Nemesapati (25-6, 18 KO), a fighter you may remember from losses to Callum Smith or Anthony Dirrell.
- Billy Joe Saunders def. Willie Monroe Jr by unanimous decision (117-111, 115-114, 117-112)
Billy Joe Saunders vs Willie Monroe Jr
Round 1: Feeling out start, which is exactly what you’d expect knowing both fighters’ styles. Saunders starting comfortably, jabbing fairly well. Both guys are southpaws which happens fairly regularly but you’ll always be told it’s exceptionally rare, like it’s a pair of unicorns come together for battle. Saunders 10-9
Round 2: Monroe trying to lead a bit more to start this round. Saunders doing flashier looking work and still jabbing. Fairly close round but I nick it to BJS. Saunders 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: This never promised to be a particularly exciting fight, and it’s certainly cagey. Monroe just not doing enough work. I’m not about “TAKE the title from the CHAMPION!” because it’s dumb but on the road, against the favorite, you really have to do more than this. It’s Saunders riling up the crowd with little rushes here and there, and now he’s pressing hard against Monroe near the ropes. That late charge seals the round clearly for Saunders, even if he did clip Monroe behind the head once or twice in the heat of it. Saunders 10-9, 30-27
Round 4: Saunders gets cut over the right eye and Monroe is trying to target the wound. Hard to see if it was a clash of heads that caused the cut, but that would be my guess given how it happened. I liked Monroe this round — didn’t love Saunders’ response to the blood. Replay shows it was a clash of heads, but Saunders definitely did less this round anyway. Monroe 10-9, Saunders 39-37
Round 5: Saunders trying to bully Monroe again against the ropes, doesn’t get much real work done, but then does connect on a right hook that bounces off of Monroe’s forehead. Monroe fights his way out. Nice bounce-back round from Saunders, who landed a good elbow in there, too. Saunders 10-9, 49-46
Round 6: “Interesting fight, rather than a dramatic fight, so far.” That’s probably a nice way to put it. Monroe trying to mix up his attack some — neither guy has exactly been dynamic to this point. Monroe jabbing OK and I think he takes this one. Monroe 10-9, Saunders 58-56
Round 7: Both guys having their moments, nobody taking real firm control of the fight. I thought Monroe just edged this one on a couple late shots, but Saunders has an argument. Definitely swing round. Monroe 10-9, Saunders 67-66
Round 8: Saunders back with a really good round here, maybe his best of the fight, closing it really strong with some aggressive offense. When Saunders steps on the gas at all, he seems to have a bit too much for Monroe. Saunders 10-9, 77-75
Round 9: Fight getting a little chippy again this round, referee warns them both about the tactics, checks on things, and off we go again, with Saunders again trying to press some. Saunders seems to have gained some real confidence that he can bull past Monroe if necessary. And I think that’s quite true. Monroe just doesn’t have the physicality to hold him off when he presses. Saunders 10-9, 87-84
Round 10: These last couple rounds, and now this one, I think BJS has indeed taken fairly firm control of the fight. Monroe is trying in spots to change his approach, but it’s not that effective. At this point, I think he needs something pretty special — I might even have this closer than the judges do, to. Saunders 10-9, 97-93
Round 11: Saunders still fighting like he’s present, not on cruise control, and he hasn’t faded at all in this fight, which is good to see. He’s looked a lot better tonight than he did against Akavov. Monroe tries to dig to the body, which is probably too little, too late, but you never know. I liked Willie in this round, but again I think it’s probably too late. But he’s definitely still fighting. Monroe 10-9, Saunders 106-103
Round 12: Monroe coming out fast, really trying to win this round, which he desperately needs, and probably then some. You know, I think Saunders has won the clearer rounds, but this has certainly been competitive. Saunders starting to tire now in the final round, which is better than starting to fade in the ninth, so still an improvement. I like Willie’s activity again in this round, but I think Saunders just did enough to get by with the deserved win. Monroe 10-9, Saunders 115-113