Saunders outpoints Lee to win middleweight belt
- Updated: December 19, 2015
Billy Joe Saunders annexed the WBO middleweight title from Andy Lee in a tactical fight in Manchester, England on Saturday evening.
The fight, which aired live in the afternoon on Showtime Extreme in the U.S., saw the two fighters trade rounds, though the third round was easily the biggest of them all. In the third, Saunders floored Lee with a right hook and then again less then a minute later with a counter right.
Lee (34-3-1, 24 KOs) was slow to get up on both accounts but still managed to fight his way back in it as the rounds progressed and Saunders tired. Though Lee came on strong late, the early deficit on the cards were ultimately too much to overcome.
Scores were 115-111, 114-112 and 113-113 in Saunders’ favor.
“I’m world champion,” Saunders said. “I beat a good champion today, a good sturdy champion. I used his power against him. When I was boxing he got a little bit careless and dropped his lead hand and I caught him with the hook.
“I’m not going to start running my mouth, but it was a good shot. With someone as fast as me you have to keep your hands up. I’m not the biggest puncher in the world, but I showed you there that I can punch.”
“I thought he was going to be a big brawler, I thought he had better assets,” Jacobs said of Lee. “He didn’t do enough for me. He was too complacent and after the knockdown you didn’t see that sense of urgency that a fighter has to have on the comeback trail.
“All credit due to Billy Joe, but it wasn’t an impressive victory.”