Clash of the Titans: Andy Lee vs. Billy Joe Saunders

By Sean Ness on July 4, 2015
Clash of the Titans: Andy Lee vs. Billy Joe Saunders
If there was ever a time to get excited about an almost domestic dust-up, then this is it.

Come September, Billy Joe Saunders will be looking to cement his name alongside the top names in the middleweight division…

Now and again a fight that comes along that not only waters the mouths of the punch purists but also engages new fans to the sport of boxing. Both are equally eager to witness a fight between two exceptional athletes and in my opinion, it usually happens once a year. However, this year the boxing fraternity has already observed some top drawer quality contests by some of the biggest pugilists involved in the sweet science and on September 19th, live from Thomond Park, Limerick in Ireland, it will be another gift wrapped fight for the fans of boxing.

Andy Lee is the current WBO middleweight champion of the world and in the third trimester of 2015 his title will be on the line for the first time since overcoming Matt Korobov in December 2014, stopping the Russian fighter inside six rounds at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada. His opponent in the opposite corner is a British former Olympian, undefeated world-ranked middleweight prospect, proud Romani Gypsy, Hatfield native and Chris Eubank Jr. conquering Billy Joe Saunders.

Both fighters have an exceptional boxing acumen with the ability to change their styles accordingly. Andy Lee has demonstrated the skills needed to turn a fight on its head. He has secured a victory even in the unlikeliest of times, knocking out his opponents after almost tasting defeat only seconds before. Billy Joe Saunders has been victorious and shown his determination to win a fight no matter the cost. He possesses a massive heart as well as an excellent boxing brain executing an assault on his opponents with great timing and precision.

If there was ever a time to get excited about an almost domestic dust-up, then this is it.

Under the stewardship of the Dark Lord himself, Mr. Adam Booth, Andy Lee has become a formidable force at 160 lbs. He has realized every professional boxer’s dream of becoming a world champion proving that he can mix it with the best. After overcoming John Jackson in devastating circumstances most people in the know regarding Andy Lee’s boxing skills weren’t in the least bit surprised when he won the vacant WBO middleweight title. In what should have been his first defense of his title, Andy Lee fought a long and hard fight showing his grit and determination in the championship rounds, coming off the canvas twice to secure a draw against the former owner of his title, Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin in April of this year.

This week “Irish” Andy Lee had some kind words for Billy Joe Saunders before delivering his brutal prediction for their forthcoming fight telling Boxing News Online, “Billy Joe Saunders is very talented, highly skilled, but fiercely competitive as well. I was impressed that, against Chris Eubank Jr., he went straight to work; he didn’t allow Eubank to settle and that showed his experience. It was always going to be tough down the stretch because Eubank is so well-conditioned,” before adding, “I’m the better fighter all-round. Everything he can do I can do to a better standard and I also have the power. He might win one or two early rounds but by the fourth or fifth, I’ll find the punch to end the fight.”

Billy Joe Saunders will be looking to secure the world title from the grasp of Irish Traveler Andy Lee and become the first Romani Gypsy Middleweight Champion of the world. The road that led Billy Joe to this point in his career has been long for the ever patient, yet eager contender. He has had some memorable fights and excellent wins in order to stake his claim as a force to be reckoned with at 160 lbs. For the first time in his career, Billy Joe was regarded as an underdog in his match-up with ring legend Chris Eubank Sr.’s son in November last year at the Excel Arena in London.

The first half of the fight showed why you should never bet against the Hatfield native. He never let his opponent settle, applying pressure at every angle and loading up with some great shots on the previously untouched Chris Eubank Jr. Billy Joe Saunders showed enough skill in the first half of the fight securing bragging rights over his fiercest rival. Recently there had been talk of a rematch between the pair; however, I am happy to see Billy Joe Saunders getting a much-deserved shot at the world title and a chance to prove himself against the best in the middleweight division. The ever confident Billy Joe gave Sky Sports the lowdown on how he sees the fight panning out with Andy Lee. “Andy Lee is strong and game but he’s been on the floor in his last three fights and is coming to the end. He’s at a point where he’s cashing in and I don’t blame him for that but I’m too fresh for him. His luck has got to run out some time and I’m the man to take his title. He’s got a lot of miles on the clock, unlike, say, [Gennady] Golovkin, who is still young and fresh as a champion.”

Much like the Billy Joe Saunders fight with Chris Eubank Jr., I am finding this contest between two excellent fighters incredibly hard to call. But what you can bet on is that it will be a tremendous display of boxing which will satisfy the purists the whole world over. Andy Lee is already at home on the world stage of boxing, however, come September, Billy Joe Saunders will be looking to cement his name alongside the top names in the middleweight division.

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  1. TheSweetScience 09:54pm, 07/09/2015

    Lost me head a wee bit, in an excited comment-haze in my message…
    ... I meant to state the name in my R.I.P wishes:
    “For your trainer, and second father… Emanuel Steward”!

  2. TheSweetScience 09:50pm, 07/09/2015

    “Up the Irish… GET IT IN”!!!
      ~ Andy Lee after his Matt K. KO

    This red-headed Lad seconds that, Andy!
    R.I.P to your trainer, and second father…
        We are in your corner Mr. Lee!!!

    Cannot wait.

  3. Sean Ness 09:13am, 07/05/2015

    If it goes to points then BJS with his work rate will take the decision but if Lee catches him right, it’s good night Vienna.

  4. Sean Ness 07:09am, 07/05/2015

    thanks to the editor and Lee for pointing it out.

  5. The Tache 06:16am, 07/05/2015

    I must admit I read it the same as Lee regarding the weight. Anyway, as for the fight itself, it should be an interesting clash between Saunders who will be stepping up against his best opponent to date and the seasoned Lee who is probably on the cusp of decline.
    I just hope that given the gypsy connections they bring gloves!!

  6. Lee 03:11am, 07/05/2015

    That’s fair enough Sean, it was just the fact that you said ‘he has become a force…’ rather than ‘became’ - which is what threw me,and also that you say the same thing about BJS a little further down the article.No offence intended it’ s merely that such apparently jarring details in an otherwise compelling piece tend to stick out a little.

  7. Sean Ness 12:03am, 07/05/2015

    No one said it wasn’t Lee. He defeated John Jackson at 154 before going on to fight in the middleweight. It doesn’t state that middleweight is 154lbs.

  8. Lee 11:30pm, 07/04/2015

    Um…pretty sure middleweight is 160Ibs…

  9. KB 06:19pm, 07/04/2015

    SuperHans has the beat

  10. SeanNess 02:30pm, 07/04/2015

    Excellent input glen

  11. glen 01:50pm, 07/04/2015

    Clash of nobody…

  12. SeanNess 12:34pm, 07/04/2015

    Andy Lee has given the boxing fans more entertainment however I am also a fan of Floyd’s fine art. Both boxers are equally as exciting just in different way’s IMO.

  13. KB 11:29am, 07/04/2015

    Right you are Irish

    We were scammed and that shoulder garbage makes me ill.

  14. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 10:39am, 07/04/2015

    Andy has provided more excitement and entertainment….yes, entertainment…. inside the ring in one fight than Floyd Mayweather has in his entire career…. which includes the greatest scam in the history of sport where he conspired with Pacquiao and others including the NSAC, to dupe the boxing public into believing that what they were paying for with their hard earned money was on the level, when in fact what they were in for was a good old fashioned reaming!

  15. KB 05:31am, 07/04/2015

    Good one—very informative

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