Billy Joe Saunders vs Martin Murray Preview Dec. 4th
Unbeaten WBO Super Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders of Hatfield, England will be defending his title this Friday, Dec. 4th against Martin Murray of St. Helens, England at Wembley Arena in London. The 12-round bout can be seen live in the UK on Sky Sports Arena while most of the world can catch it on DAZN. Saunders last fought in November of last year when he stopped Marcelo Esteban Coceres in the 11th round. Murray also saw action last November with an eight-round decision over Sladan Jananin. Saunders won the vacant title with a unanimous decision over Shefat Isufu in May, 2019.
**Watch live on DAZN this Friday. Your first month is free.
Saunders vs Murray Betting Odds
- Martin Murray +750
- Billy Joe Saunders -2000
The 31-year-old Saunders, a southpaw, enters the bout with a perfect record of 29-0 with 14 Kos. He’s hoping to earn possible big-money fights down the road with the likes of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and/or Gennady Golovkin but has been taking on a steady stream of unknowns in the meantime. This time he’ll be fighting a 38-year-old who’s in the twilight of his career. Saunders is also a former WBO and Commonwealth Middleweight Champion with decent power to go along with good overall boxing skills.
Saunders competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China and has fought 202 rounds since turning pro the same year. His biggest wins have been over David Lemieux, Andy Lee, Willie Monroe Jr and a 12-round split decision victory over fellow Englishman Chris Eubank Jr in 2014. Other notable opponents include Gary O’Sullivan, Artur Akavov and Jarrod Fletcher so he’s never met an elite contender as of yet.
The champion stands 5-feet-11-inches tall and has a 71-inch reach. He’s not known as a KO artist with his knockout ratio currently standing at 48.3 per cent. Saunders has struggled lately though against mediocre opponents and has been forced to go the distance in five of his last seven outings.
The 38-year-old Murray enters the ring with a mark of 39-5-1 with 17 Kos to his name. He’s fought 296 rounds since turning pro in 2007 and is 6-feet-tall with a 73-inch wingspan. He’s an inch shorter than Saunders but has a two-inch edge in reach. Murray’s not known for his power either with a current knockout ratio of 37.8 per cent. He’s gone the distance in his last four bouts with his last stoppage coming in 2017.
Murray is a boxer who likes to stay active as this will be his 14th bout since February of 2015 and his fifth shot at a world title overall. He’s won several minor titles along the way and is a former Commonwealth and British champion. His first world title shot came against Felix Sturm in 2011, but could only manage a draw. He was then beaten by unanimous decision by Argentina’s Sergio Martinez two years later and stopped by Gennady Golovkin in the 11th round in February of 2015.
He dropped a 12-round split decision to Arthur Abraham in his fourth world title shot in November, 2015 and then lost a 12-round unanimous decision to George Groves in June of 2016. Looking back, Murray feels he may not have been ready for his first title bout against Sturm since he took a big step up in class to the world level from the domestic level. He’s a good boxer with fine skills, but not much power and obviously falls just short when he steps up in class to meet elite opposition.
All five men who have beaten him were world champions at one time with his last defeat coming at the hands of Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam by majority decision in December, 2018. Murray has a great chin though as Golovkin is the only one who managed to stop him and that came in the 11th round. Murray’s biggest wins have been against the likes of Roberto Garcia, Gabriel Rosado, Jose Torres, Ishmael Tetteh, and Jorge Navarro.
Other than the wins over Lemieux and Eubank, Saunders’ biggest problem is that he usually fights to the level of his opposition and does just enough to win. Martin is a seasoned veteran and will be competitive but I think he’ll fall just short. Many fans feel’ Saunders, who was caught using performance-enhancing drugs, is despicable outside of the ring but if he does have anything going for him it’s his boxing skills inside the squared circle. He should do just enough to beat Murray.
Saunders is a little too skillful.
Play: Saunders -2000 @ BetOnline.ag
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