Saunders seals first pro title

Saunders wins Southern Area title on 11th outing

BILLY JOE SAUNDERS 11-0 (7 KO’s) sealed his first professional title with a comfortable points victory to secure the Southern Area championship with a victory against Gary Boulden 5-3-2.

The Hertford boxer controlled the fight from the first round and despite not finding a knockout punch in the ten-round contest looked in impressive form. Saunders put Boulden through the wars but to his credit the former-champion held on to the end in a battling display.

Saunders found success with his fight jab early on, Boulden could only reply with body shots which did not faze the Hatfield fighter. The Olympian stepped up the pressure in the first round throwing a series of combinations from distance before coming in closer to throw his right hook.

The Hertford traveller was the one forcing the issue again in the second round taking control of the centre of the ring pressuring the now- former Southern Area champion onto the ropes. Saunders’ right jab kept Boulden at distance and when the Surrey fighter did get close he was open to a flurry of punches from his challenger. His unbeaten-challenger fell to the canvas late in the round but the referee ruled it was a slip.

Saunders looked dangerous every time he leaned onto his front foot but the sting was taken out of his rhythm when Boulden began to move around the ring a lot more avoiding the ‘Caravan Kid’ threatening attack. Boulden this time fell to the canvas but the referee ruled that it was a clash of shoulders.

The 22-year-old came out for the fourth with real purpose landing several big shots to the chin of Boulden early in the round. It looked as though Saunders could finish the fight at any moment as a cut to the left eye emerged but Boulden continued to hold on and gave Saunders something to think about with a powerful left towards the end of the fourth.

Boulden began to impose himself on the fight in his most impressive round of the fight as he gave Saunders plenty to deal with. Saunders surrendered the centre of the ring momentarily but reminded the now-former champion of his power late in the fifth with a powerful combination. That momentum from Boulden was short-lived as Saunders wobbled the Southern Area title holder with a big right and then a neat combination to push the Shepperton boxer onto the ropes before holding Saunders for rest bit.

Saunders kept stepping up the pressure with Boulden only managing to throw wild swings in an attempt to claw his way back into the contest. The champion had no answer to Saunders and resulted to sprinting from end to end of the ring in a bid to avoid the Hatfield traveller.

The promising light-middleweight, who has been tipped to reach the world stage sooner rather than later, came out for the eighth early and totally dominated the round as he drew blood from the nose of Boulden. It was one-way traffic as Saunders had complete control going into the final rounds. To the 25-year-old’s credit he was holding in there against Saunders who was throwing everything.

Late in the ninth the pair were going at it embroiling themselves in a brawl something Saunders looked to take advantage of and looked to put an end to the contest before the bell signalled the end of the round.

Saunders came out in the tenth looking for that title-winning punch but a resilient Boulden just wouldn’t go down. Saunders caught the now-former champion with several powerful-left hooks but a determined Boulden fought out the remainder of the fight.

Greg Grimes

Speak Your Mind