Andy Lee vs Billy Joe Saunders Preview December 19th
There’s another huge fight over in the UK this weekend as WBO Middleweight Champion Andy Lee of Ireland will be taking on England’s undefeated Billy Joe Saunders at the Manchester Arena on Saturday, December 19th. This bout between two southpaws has been postponed twice, but they’ll finally be stepping into the ring this weekend. The 12-round contest can be seen live in the U.S on the Showtime Extreme network while fans in Britain can catch all the action on BoxNation. This will be Lee’s first defence of the vacant title he won a year ago.
Lee vs Saunders Betting Odds
- Andy Lee +100
- Billy Joe Saunders -120
The 31-year-old Lee was actually born in London and spent time in Detroit at the Kronk Gym. He’ll be entering the bout with a record of 34-2-1 with 25 Kos. He won his crown last December as the underdog by stopping Matt Korobov of America in the sixth round. He fought Peter Quillin in April of this year, but it was a non-title bout since Quillin failed to make the 160 lb. weight. The two still battled it out for 12 rounds though and it ended in a split-decision draw. Lee turned pro in and has rounds under his belt since then. He’s beaten the likes of and his two losses came at the hands of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. by seventh-round TKO in 2012 and Brian Vera by seventh-round TKO in 2008.
The 26-year-old Saunders is the current Commonwealth Middleweight Champion and enters the clash with a perfect mark of 22-0 along with 12 Kos. His biggest win to date was a 12-round split decision over England’s Chris Eubank Jr late last year. Saunders competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China and has fought 127 rounds since turning pro the same year. His last outing came in July when he stopped Yoann Bloyer of France in four rounds. Other notable opponents include Gary O’Sullivan and Jarrod Fletcher.
Saunders stands 5-feet-11-inches tall, but BoxRec doesn’t list his reach. He’s not known as a knockout artist or powerful puncher and his knockout ratio currently stands at 55 per cent. Lee, on the other hand, is regarded as a power puncher and has a knockout ratio of 65 per cent. The champion has 207 rounds under his belt since turning pro in 2006 and has a three-inch height advantage at 6-foot-2 and owns a 75-inch reach. Lee’s biggest wins have been against Korobov, John Jackson, Darryl Cunningham, Saul Duran, Brian Vera, Alex Bunema, Troy Lowry and Craig McEwan.
Saunders has the edge in boxing skills here while Lee has more power. However, Saunders claimed that he’ll gladly stand and trade punches with the champion when needed. Lee’s boxing skills shouldn’t be underestimated though since he does have some talent in that department. The champion’s height advantage could also be a big factor here. Lee likely realizes he might have a problem outboxing Saunders so should be looking to slow him down with power shots. Lee has been stopped in both of his losses and has been decked on other occasions, but he still has a pretty good chin and Saunders doesn’t really possess a lot of power. However, Saunders also has a solid chin and if he can handle Lee’s power then he’ll be in the driver’s seat.
The most likely outcomes here are a Saunders win on points or Lee by stoppage. However, Saunders’ power shouldn’t be taken lightly. If Lee looks to land just one big punch to stop it then he’ll fall behind on points and will have a hard time catching up. Lee has the height and experience advantages, but Saunders has better technical skills. This is a close one to call, but if Lee can land one or two of his bombs he should retain his title.
There’s nothing wrong with backing either boxer here since it’s that close of a fight.
Play: Lee +100 @ BetOnline.ag
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