Billy Joe Saunders will make the second defence of his WBO Super Middleweight title against fellow British fighter and four-time world title challenger Martin Murray at The SSE Arena on Friday, December 4. Will BJS remain champions, or will Murray finally win the big one? BettingPro.com have picked out their best tips for this eagerly anticipated bout.
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Billy Joe Saunders v Martin Murray Predictions & Tips
I have already mentioned that I am not a massive fan of Saunders, but I am not daft. I know he is a fantastic boxer. He has beaten the likes of Gary O’Sullivan, John Ryder, Chris Eubank, Andy Lee and Willie Monroe Junior, so he clearly knows how to fight.
He is unbeaten and you cannot have 29 fights and winning them all without having something about. I’m just not a fan of his cockiness and arrogance and I’m not ashamed to say I will be rooting for Murray in this one.
Unfortunately, I believe Murray is past his best and at 38-years-old I feel he will struggle to put Saunders away.
Murray is from St Helens and has worked hard to get where he is. He will refuse to quit, but I think Saunders will be too smart for him and he will take this one on points.
Out of Murray’s five career losses, he has only been stopped once and that was against GGG – and to be fair he has knocked out 35 of his opponents.
Road To Billy Joe Saunders v Martin Murray
Controversial fighter Billy Joe Saunders returns to the ring after over 12 months out when he takes on St Helens boxer Martin Murray for Saunders’ WBO super middleweight title.
Saunders won the WBO belt back in May 2019 when he claimed a unanimous points decision over Germany’s Shefat Isufi. His first and only title defence so far was in November 2019 when he knocked out Marcelo Esteban Coceres in the 11th round at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles.
Saunders is not everyone’s cup of tea – mine included – but he is a two-weight champion having also held the WBO middleweight title. He might be a fantastic fighter, but his actions outside the ring make him difficult to like.
He vacated the WBO title when it looked like it would be stripped anyway following a failed drugs test, while he has courted controversy with a number of videos posted online – one was shown of Saunders teaching men how to hit women.
A lot of boxing fans will be supporting Murray to finally get hold of a major title. They should have met back in 2018, but the fight didn’t go ahead after Saunders withdrew twice because of injury, with Murray launching an attack on his opponent for ducking him in order to secure a bigger opponent.
Murray has challenged for a world title on four separate occasions and has come up short each time. His first title shot was back in 2011 when he went to Germany to face Felix Sturm for the WBA (Super) middleweight belt. The bout ended up in a controversial draw with Sturm keeping his title.
His second title shot came in 2013 when he travelled to Argentina to take on Sergio Martinez for the WBC and Ring middleweight titles, but he was outboxed and lost to a unanimous points decision. He then got in the ring with one of the best fighters ever as Gennadiy Golovkin stopped him in the 11th round in 2015 as GGG retained his WBA (Super), IBO and WBC titles.
His fourth title shot was for the WBO super middleweight belt when he once again went to Germany. This time he took on Arthur Abraham and as before fell to a split decision in front of the judges.
Since then he has fought and lost to George Groves, but his last two fights have ended up in points victories over Rui Manuel Pavanito. It will also be over 12 months since Murray has been in the ring when he takes on Saunders in London.
Billy Joe Saunders v Martin Murray Tips: Fighter Predictions
Billy Joe Saunders: “I am very happy to be defending my WBO title again. I haven’t boxed for a year and I really do miss being in the ring. I can’t wait to have my 30th professional fight and finish the year with a bang before a big 2021.
“The coronavirus pandemic has affected everybody in many ways, and it has had a big impact on the sport of boxing. The Canelo Alvarez fight falling through was very frustrating for me but now the journey continues in December.
“Martin and I were supposed to fight twice before but it didn’t happen either time. He said some stuff and so did I, so let’s see who can back it up. I’m enjoying training with Mark Tibbs. He’s incredibly knowledgeable in the sport of boxing and we are working on new stuff that we will show on the night.”
Martin Murray: “I’m really looking forward to getting back in there and fighting for another World Title. The big fights definitely bring out the best in me.
“This year has been a good year for me personally. It seemed like all the stresses of life were taken away so I really enjoyed being able to relax a bit more and spend even more time with my family.
“There was no bad blood really between me and Billy to be honest, it was just a lot of frustration after he pulled out twice. That got left where it was, but we’ve definitely got some unfinished business. I’m expecting a hard fight and Billy Joe to be at his best, so I’ll be ready.”