Tag Archives: Billy Joe Saunders

Demetrius Andrade to be Ringside at Saunders – Lemieux Tonight on HBO World Championship Boxing®

   

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
White Plains, NY/Philadelphia, PA — Undefeated, two-time world champion Demetrius Andrade will be ringside for the WBO World Middleweight Title bout between undefeated champion Billy Joe Saunders and David Lemieux.
Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs) made his middleweight debut on October 21st with an impressive 12-round unanimous decision over Alantez Fox and will be looking at the winner of the title fight as a possible opponent in the near future.
“I am looking forward to seeing a good fight.  A boxer in Saunders against a banger in Lemieux.  I am excited to be ringside for the fight, and may the best man win.  The winner of the fight is a world champion, and I just want to fight the best fighters in the middleweight division.”
Andrade of Providence, Rhode Island is ranked number-3 by the WBO, number-7 by the WBC, number-3 by the WBA, and number-7 by the IBF.
Andrade is co-promoted by Banner Promotions and Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing.
For regular updates on our fighters, events, and promotions, please check Banner Promotions Facebook Page , and follow us on Instagram and Twitter @BannerBoxing .
Twitter, Instagram: @StarBoxing
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Youtube: youtube.com/starboxing

GH3 Promotions CEO Vito Mielnicki excited for Antoine Douglas opportunity this Saturday against Gary O’Sullivan on HBO World Championship Boxing®

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nutley, NJ (December 15, 2017)–This Saturday night world-ranked middleweight Antoine Douglas (22-1-1, 16 KOs) will make his HBO debut when he takes on Gary O’Sullivan (26-2, 18 KOs) in the co-feature bout of an HBO World Championship Boxing®  tripleheader from Laval, Quebec, Canada.
The main of event will pit undefeated WBO world middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders defending his title against Canadian knockout artist David Lemieux.
Douglas and O’Sullivan will battle for the WBO Intercontinental Middleweight title as well as Douglas defending his NABA Middleweight title with the winner moving up the line to face the winner of the main event.
Douglas’ longtime promoter GH3 Promotions’ Vito Mielnicki is excited about the opportunity that his fighter has not only on Saturday, but going forward with a new alliance with Golden Boy Promotions.
“Antoine had an awesome training camp.  He trained not far from our offices in New Jersey, and I was able to visit him often, and he looks tremendous,” said Mielnicki.
“We know Gary O’Sullivan is a tough competitor, and Antoine knows that he has to perform on HBO this Saturday.  This has been a long process, but now we have a multi-fight agreement with Golden Boy Promotions, so the prospect of major fights are clearly in his sight.”
Saunders vs. Lemieux, a 12-round fight for the Saunders’ WBO World Middleweight Championship, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Eye of the Tiger Management in association with Frank Warren. Douglas vs. O’Sullivan is a 10-round fight for the WBO Intercontinental Middleweight Title presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Eye of The Tiger Management in association with GH3 Promotions and Murphy’s Boxing. Seldin vs. Ulysse, Jr. is a 10-round super lightweight fight presented by Golden Boy Promotions, Eye of The Tiger Management and Star Boxing. The event will take place Saturday, Dec. 16 at Place Bell in Laval, Quebec, Canada and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 9:40 p.m. ET/PT.

Tickets for Saunders vs. Lemieux are priced beginning at $45 to $500 and are on sale. Tickets can be purchased at the Place Bell Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com,www.goldenboytickets.com or www.placebell.ca/en.

Visit www.goldenboypromotions.com, www.eottm.com, www.frankwarren.com,www.StarBoxing.com and www.hbo.com/boxing for more information. Follow on Twitter at @GoldenBoyBoxing, @EOTMVD, @hboboxing, @bjsaunders_, @LemieuxBoxing, @Action_Douglas, @spike_osullivan, @StarBoxing, @LifeOfCletus, @frankwarren_tv; and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GoldenBoyBoxing. Visit us on Instagram at @GoldenBoyBoxing, @eottm_boxing, @saundersbillyjoe, @davidlemieuxboxing, @action_douglass @garyspikeosullivan, @StarBoxing, @BearJewUSA; and follow the conversation using #SaundersLemieux.

Photos and videos are available for download via the link: http://bit.ly/SaundersLemieux. Credit must be given to Golden Boy Promotions for photos and videos used. Download the French language version of the Saunders vs. Lemieux press kit here:bit.ly/SaundersLemieuxFR. Photo credit: Vincent Ethier / Eye of the Tiger Management.

Can Saunders Secure His Most Impressive Win to Date Over Lemieux?

Billy Joe Saunders will take to the ring on December 16 in Canada as the reigning and defending WBO middleweight champion, being the proud owner of a belt which he won way back in December 2015 when defeating fellow traveller Andy Lee. 

 

But since outpointing Irishman Lee with a majority decision success to become world champion at the Manchester Arena, Saunders has only defended it on two occasions, with unanimous decision triumphs over Artur Akavov and Willie Monroe Jr., more recently. 

 

Against game Russian Akavov, the undefeated world title holder was far from impressive and perhaps even lucky to get such a comfortable decision in the end at the Lagoon Leisure Centre on Scottish soil. The win over American challenger Monroe Jr was a lot better, having then undertaken Dominic Ingle as his newest coach. 

 

But the latter bout was still a drab affair and did nothing to further or boost Saunders’ appeal to a broader audience, as he outworked the New York-born southpaw quite comfortably. For most of the title defence, he was barely made to work at all, with Monroe having come in with a bizarrely inefficient gameplan. 

 

However, the 28-year-old will next face undoubtedly his toughest career test to date against former 160lbs champion David Lemieux, a far more serious challenge than an inexperienced and youthful Chris Eubank Jr, an indifferent Andy Lee and the far from threatening Willy Monroe Junior.

 

Hard-hitting Canadian Lemieux will enter the ring ropes as the evens outsider in the latest boxing odds to prevail on home territory, a promising price for a fighter on a strong surge of victories of late. Since being viciously stopped in a gallant showing against the division kingpin Gennady Golovkin in October 2015, the 28-year-old has earned four consecutive wins, including two big knockouts of Glen Tapia and Curtis Stevens. 


Of all the opponents Saunders has gone toe to toe with to date, none have possessed the punching power of Lemieux, and that could be a decisive factor come fight night. The latter home hope is promoted by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy, who are seemingly keen to match the Canadian up with main cash cow Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez next year, rather than throw him in with ‘GGG’ once again in a highly awaited rematch. 

 

Despite being the favourite to prevail and maintain his unbeaten record on what will be his maiden venture outside of the UK in his professional career, it seems the odds are actually stacked against Saunders for this latest encounter.

 

It has been evident, too, that Saunders doesn’t boast the massive power capable of keeping a fleet-footed Lemieux away from the danger areas throughout their match-up. Knockout artist Lemieux produced what could eventually be voted stoppage of the year back in March when he brutally put Stevens’ lights out in New York City.

 

Could another vicious stoppage success be on the cards on home soil? It’s up to Saunders and Ingle to execute their upcoming gameplan perfectly to secure what would be a highly impressive victory on the road, but it looks likely of being a truly testing night in Quebec. 

Billy Joe Saunders vs Willie Monroe, Jr. WBO World Middleweight Title Bout to be Streamed LIVE THIS SATURDAY AFTERNOON on Banner Promotions Network Youtube Channel

   

Exclusive stream in the United States & Canada to begin at 5:30 PM ET
Philadelphia. Pa.(September 13, 2017)–This Saturday afternoon, WBO World Middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders will take on number-2 ranked Willie Monroe Jr. at The Copper Box Arena in London.
Banner Promotions is pleased to announce the fight will be streamed live exclusively in the United States & Canada on the Banner Promotions Network Youtube page beginning at5:30 ET / 2:30 PT, with the Saunders – Monroe Jr. fight beginning at 6:30 PM ET.
“We are happy to be able to bring the fans in the United States & Canada this very important title bout.  With the interest in the fight and the ramifications for the winner to be in line to fight the Canelo Alvarez – Gennady Golovkin winner, we expect a big audience on Youtube to view this fight,” said Banner Promotions President, Artie Pelullo.
For regular updates on our fighters, events, and promotions, please check Banner Promotions Facebook Page , and follow us on Instagram and Twitter @BannerBoxing.

Willie Monroe, Jr. Media Day Quotes, Pictures and Videos

   

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Philadelphia. Pa./Rochester, NY (Aug. 31, 2017) –  This past Tuesday at the Rochester Fight Factory, Willie Monroe, Jr. met a throng of media personel during his media day workout in advance of his September 16th showdown with WBO World Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders at the Copper Box Arena in London, England.
Monroe held court and analyzed many topics regarding the fight and his career as he gets ready for his 2nd world title opportunity.
Below are quotes, video interviews and images from the event, which included a visit from Rochester Deputy Mayor Cedric Alexander.
MONROE QUOTES:
“I am battle tested, and I have gone through this and gave a good account of myself against Golovkin. This time, I am going to enjoy the moment a little more. I am enjoying the process.”

“Nothing is given to you, so I have to go take it.”

“I give people from my city hope.”

“The one thing that Golovkin and Canelo need, I am going to get my hands on, so they will have to see me.”

“Saunders is a little mouthy. I am a humble guy. It has me motivated, and come September 16th, he will have heck to pay.”

“I want my rematch with Triple-G, but I think Canelo is the more skilled fighter. It will be a great fight. I appreciate both of them for fighting each other.”

“I might feel like boxing his ears off, or I may want to get him out of there.”

“My application to boxing, shows that I am strongrt then these guys.”
Willie Monroe, Jr roundtable interview
Willie Monroe, Jr roundtable interview
Willie Monroe, Jr 1 on 1 interview
Willie Monroe, Jr 1 on 1 interview


 
Images
For regular updates on our fighters, events, and promotions, please check Banner Promotions Facebook Page , and follow us on Instagram and Twitter @BannerBoxing.

BILLY JOE SAUNDERS V WILLIE MONROE JR, SEPTEMBER 16TH IN LONDON

    

THE WBO MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP OF THE WORLD
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LONDON (JULY 17, 2017)–WBO Middleweight World Champion Billy Joe Saunders will make the second defense of his crown against New York’s Willie Monroe Jr. on Saturday, September 16th at London’s Copper Box Arena, live on BT Sport and BoxNation.

Hatfield’s Saunders (24-0, 12 KOs) defeated Irish hero Andy Lee to take the WBO strap in a close and absorbing fight back in December 2015 that saw the undefeated star floor the former Champion twice in the third round and go on to claim a majority decision from the judges.

A series of injuries led to a frustrating 2016 for Saunders, but he eventually defended his belt last December against Artur Akavov in Glasgow. Saunders was not at his best, but outpointed the game Russian. He was due to take on Avtandil Khurtsidze before the Georgian’s arrest in June.

Monroe Jr (21-2, 6 KOs) has a second chance at winning a World Title after a sixth round stoppage loss against IBF, WBA and WBC Middleweight World Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin back in 2015. Since then the 30-year-old has won two decisions over John Thompson and Gabriel Rosado and holds a number five World ranking with the WBO.

“I am happy for this World Title opportunity,” said Monroe Jr. “I’m always in the gym and I’m ready to go now; I live the life. I can’t wait to show up and show out in London. Saunders is a good fighter and a worthy World Champion but I’m coming for that belt.”

“I gave a good account of myself against Golovkin, but I will admit that I got caught up in the moment. Billy Joe has had a lot of luxuries throughout his career that I haven’t had. All of his fights have been here in his own backyard, he hasn’t had to go into the Lion’s Den to prove himself. He calls me mentally weak but we’ll see on September 16th.”

“Willie is a good fighter and a good boxer,” said Saunders. “This is his big chance and he isn’t coming over here just to make up the numbers. He has been in with some of the best fighters in the World including Golovkin where he came up short.”

“I think it is going to be a very close fight but I already have the mental edge over him. He said he was done against Golovkin and that’s not what a warrior would do. I’d rather get knocked out cold than quit. I haven’t had the chance to show my true skill and talent as of yet as a pro. I can’t afford to overlook him and I’ll be in the best shape of my life on September 16th. I’m 100% going to get the win.”

Artie Pelullo of Banner Promotions said: “I am very happy for Willie; this is a great opportunity. A lot of things had to fall into place for Willie to get this fight. Saunders is a great fighter, and this should be a terrific event. I want to thank tthe WBO as well as Frank Warren and Billy Joe Saunders for this opportunity.”
Press Conference Video Highlights courtesy of BT Sports

Saunders’ promoter Frank Warren said: “Bill will have to be at the very top of his game to get the win on September 16th. The winner of this fight will have the missing piece on the Middleweight jigsaw, Canelo and Golovkin both want that WBO belt.”

“If Bill comes through this fight we are pushing hard for the winner of Canelo vs. Golovkin. If Golovkin wins I hope we can do that fight in December, if Canelo wins it could be in the New Year. Bill has to go out there and prove a point, there is a lot on the line.”

Ilford Light-Heavyweight knockout king Anthony Yarde and teenage Heavyweight sensation Daniel Dubois will feature on an action-packed undercard. Yarde picked up the WBO European strap with a first round KO win over Richard Baranyi last time out at the Copper Box Arena while 19 year-old Dubois claimed the WBC World Youth Heavyweight belt in only his fourth contest.

Full undercard details will be announced shortly.

Tickets for Saunders v Monroe Jr priced at £40, £50, £70, £100, £150, £200 and £300 (VIP/Hospitality) are available from:

Light Heavyweight Contender Mike Lee to Serve on Broadcast Commentary Team on CBS Sports Network, this Friday, August 5, at Pechanga

Undefeated light heavyweight contender Mike Lee will join the broadcast team as a color analyst for this Friday’s (August 5, 2016) CBS Sports Network Championship Boxing quadrupleheader in the Grand Ballroom of the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California.
 
Lee will join blow-by-blow man Alan Massenagle and color analysts Steve Kim and Patrick Ortiz live at 11 pm ET/8 pm PT when Greg Cohen Promotions and Ringside Ticket Inc. (in association with David Schuster’s Winner Take All Productions) present four exciting nationally televised professional fights, headlined by WBA #4- and WBO #7-rated middleweight and current WBO NABO and WBA NABA Middleweight Champion, Rob “Bravo” Brant (20-0, 13 KOs) of Saint Paul, Minnesota, in a 10-round battle against Cleveland’s Chris “The Irish Ghost” Fitzpatrick (15-4, 6 KOs).
 
Tickets for CBS Sports Network Championship Boxing are priced at $85, $65 and $50 and are available at www.pechanga.com or by calling the Pechanga Box Office:(877) 711-2946.
 
In the six-round super welterweight co-featured bout, Fort Worth, Texas, slugger Skender Halili (10-1, 10 KOs) will look to keep his perfect knockout record intact against experienced Ghanian veteran (now living in Silver Springs, Maryland) Ben Odamattey (16-14-3, 9 KOs).
In another televised four-rounder, undefeated former amateur world champion Cem Killic (5-0, 2 KOs) of Sherman Oaks, California, via Frankfurt, Germany, will take on pro-debuting middleweight Jerhed Fenderson of Las Vegas.
And in the night’s opening televised bout, red-hot prospect Malik Hawkins (8-0, 7 KOs) of Baltimore, Maryland, will look to keep his march to the top of the welterweight division alive against Portland, Oregon’s Sean Gee (3-4).
 
An ambassador for the sport of boxing, Lee (17-0, 10 KOs) is a former Subway national spokesperson and holds a Finance degree from The University of Notre Dame. He also does extensive work and donates most of his fight purses to charitable causes such as the Children’s Memorial Hospital and the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation.
 
The 29-year-old Chicago native has fought on the undercards of some of boxing’s most prestigious events. He was last seen in the ring in June in New York City, where he scored a unanimous eight-round decision over Mike Snider (then 10-3-3).
Lee will join an already stellar broadcast team of experts.
Blow-by-blow man Alan Massenagle is currently known as the “most watched international blow-by-blow boxing announcer on television.” Currently the voice of the World Series of Boxing, Massengale has travelled the globe extensively during his award-winning career, which also includes having served as the most watched Sports Personality in Los Angeles for 10 years. He has also served as anchor for ESPN Sportscenter, Prime Ticket and Fox Sports He received the Golden Mike Award twice for best sportscast in the Los Angeles market, and was honored four times by the Southern California Sportscasters Association.
Long-time boxing journalist Steve Kim is internationally recognized for his commentary and opinion preceding major pay-per-view boxing bouts. Patrick Ortiz is the President of Ringside Ticket Inc. and Lords of the Cage, which specializes in providing Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing events for Tribal Casinos.
 
The night’s five-fight undercard, packed with local prospects and contenders, will be announced shortly.
 
The Pechanga Resort & Casino is located at 45000 Pechanga Parkway in Temecula, CA. For more information, call 1-888-PECHANGA or visit www.pechanga.com. On fight night,doors open at 6 pm and the action starts at 7 pm. All bouts subject to change.

BILLY JOE SAUNDERS DETHRONES ANDY LEE SATURDAY TO BECOME 12th CURRENT BRITISH WORLD CHAMPION ON SHO EXTREME® FROM MANCHESTER,ENGLAND

NEW YORK (Dec. 19, 2015) – Billy Joe Saunders dethroned WBO Middleweight World Champion Andy Lee with a 12-round majority decision Saturday on SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL from Manchester, England.

 

The fight, which was scored 115-111, 114-112 and 113-113,  will re-air tonight at 9 p.m. ET/PT on SHO EXTREME.

 

In a matchup of tactical southpaws, an explosive third round from Saunders (23-0, 12 KOs) was the difference.  The British challenger floored Lee twice – first with a big right hook and again with a counter right just 30 seconds later – and a dazed Lee somehow survived the 10-7 round. VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: http://s.sho.com/1OfibYe

 

The Irish Lee (34-3-1, 24 KOs) fought his way back and was the more aggressive fighter in the championship rounds, but it wasn’t enough to make up for a slow start and the two knockdowns.

 

With the win, Saunders became the 12th current British world champion.

 

“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.”

 

WBA Middleweight World Champion Daniel Jacobs, fresh off a first round knockout of Peter Quillin two weeks ago on SHOWTIME, was a guest analyst on Saturday from New York.

 

“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.”

 

After watching the fight, Jacobs wasn’t ready to commit to a unification showdown in 2016 with the winner.

 

“We’ll do whatever makes sense,” Jacobs said.  “I think it’s time to sit-down and figure what makes sense.  Obviously it’s a good time to be a middleweight champion.”

 

ANDY LEE & BILLY JOE SAUNDERS MEDIA WORKOUT QUOTES FOR WBO MIDDLEWEIGHT WORLD TITLE FIGHT

THIS SATURDAY LIVE ON SHO EXTREME®

SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL® Lee vs. Saunders
Airs Live at 5 p.m. ET/PT on SHO EXTREME; Encore Presentation at 9 p.m. ET/PT

“He’s not good enough to beat me.” – Andy Lee

“I’m not going to leave that ring without the title.” – Billy Joe Saunders

 

SHO VIDEO: http://s.sho.com/1ROfSkF

NEW YORK (Dec. 15, 2015) – WBO Middleweight World Champion Andy Lee and undefeated challenger Billy Joe Saunders held separate media workouts in Manchester, England, as they conclude preparations for their eagerly awaited showdown this Saturday, Dec. 19, live on SHO EXTREME  (5 p.m. ET/PT)from Manchester Arena.

 

Ireland’s Lee (34-2-1, 24 KOs) will make the first defense of his 160-pound title against England’s Saunders (22-0, 12 KOs), the WBO’s No. 1 middleweight contender.

 

The SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL offering of theBoxNation telecast will feature analysis from SHOWTIME boxing experts Brian Custer, Al Bernstein and Paulie Malignaggibefore and after the world championship showdown.  An encore presentation of the bout will air on SHO EXTREME later that evening at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

 

Here’s what Lee and Saunders had to say at their media workouts on Tuesday and Monday, respectively:

 

ANDY LEE:

“I have a punch that can end a fight, lights out, in any given second.

 

“I won’t rely on the punch.  I will look to dominate from the start with educated pressure.

 

“I’m feeling very dangerous at the moment.

 

“Saunders’ unbeaten record is a disadvantage.  He’s always been in fights he’s expected to win and has been well managed by(Frank) Warren.

 

“I’ve never lost a fight on points and I never will on points.  If I’m down on the cards I will go out swinging in the last round.

 

“Saunders being a fellow traveler does add another layer, but at the end the day it’s about how good you are and he’s not good enough to beat me.”

 

BILLY JOE SAUNDERS:

“I’m ready to go for Saturday night.  This is the best camp that I’ve ever had.  I’m prepared for the toughest test of my career, but I know that I’m in excellent shape to win this fight and become world champion.

 

“Andy Lee is a tough fighter – he’s proved that by becoming world champion and having the type of career he has had. But I’m undefeated and hungry and know that I’m on the brink of fulfilling a childhood dream.  I’m not going to leave that ring without the title.

 

“Training in Spain allows me to lock myself away from all distractions and focus solely on the fight.  It’s hard being away from home, but it’s all part of boxing.  It’s been a long camp, a tough camp, but after that I know that I’m ready to go through hell to make sure that I’m successful come fight night.

 

“The middleweight division is one of the hottest around and I’m prepared to fight any of the other champions in there once I win the title.

 

Danny Jacobs had a great win against Peter Quillin, and then there is Canelo (Alvarez) and (Gennady) Golovkin.  I know the importance of this fight for the division and I want my name to be among the very best.  I’m taking it one step at a time, but I’m open to fight anyone.

 

“There has been no trash talk with Andy because we know what each person is about.  We share a similar background and neither of us is going to take a back step.

 

“This is going to be a very exciting all-action fight because we’re going to leave it all in the ring.  I know I have the skills to beat him and I intend to show the world why I’m among the best around.”

 

Saunders on fellow Brit Chris Eubank Jr.:

 

“The truth of the matter is that Eubank Jr. does not belong at the world level – he’s a phony. It’s as simple as that.  I wasn’t impressed with his win over Gary O’Sullivan, who I’ve already beat.  He thinks he can fool the public with a win like that, but he can’t.

 

“His aim now is to move up and fight the best guys in the world, but we saw what happened the last time he stepped up a notch and faced me: he was badly exposed.  The same thing will happen with him if he fights someone like Danny Jacobs for the WBA title.

 

“You’re not the best middleweight in your own country and you want to fight a world champion and say you’re going to beat him?  I think it’s a delusion and he thinks he’s greater than he actually is.

 

“Sooner rather than later he’s going to get exposed again as the fraud that he is.  You can keep talking, but eventually you have to back it up in the ring against top-level fighters.  He’s won his last fight and now he’s back talking (expletive) again like he’s the best fighter in history.

 

“If he has the balls to fight again, which I doubt, I would happily hand him another beating, this time in even more convincing fashion.”

SHOWTIME SPORTS® TO TELEVISE WBO MIDDLEWEIGHT WORLD TITLE FIGHT BETWEEN ANDY LEE AND BILLY JOE SAUNDERS ON SATURDAY, DEC. 19, LIVE FROM MANCHESTER, ENGLAND

 

 SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL® Lee vs. Saunders
Airs Live At 5 p.m. ET/PT on SHO EXTEME

 

NEW YORK (Dec. 1, 2015) – SHOWTIME Sports® will present the WBO Middleweight World Championship between defending titlist Andy Lee and unbeaten challenger Billy Joe Saunders on Saturday, Dec. 19, live on SHO EXTREME  (5 p.m. ET/PT) from Manchester, England.

 

The SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL offering of the Box Nation telecast will feature analysis from SHOWTIME boxing experts Brian Custer, Al Bernstein and Paulie Malignaggi before and after the world championship showdown.  An encore presentation of the bout will air on SHO EXTREME later that evening at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

 

“We’re excited to deliver this important matchup of top middleweights to the U.S. audience,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager of SHOWTIME Sports. “The 160-pound class is one of boxing’s hottest and deepest divisions right now, and the winner of this fight should position himself for a major showdown or unification in 2016.”

 

Ireland’s Lee (34-2-1, 24 KOs) won the vacant WBO title with a sixth-round TKO of then-undefeated Matt Korbov in December 2014.  The 6-foot-2, 31-year old was on a six-fight win streak before boxing a split 12-round draw with undefeated former champion Peter Quillin on April 11, 2015, in Brooklyn.  Both fighters went down in a highly competitive scrap that was scored 113-112 for Quillin, 113-112 for Lee and 113-113.

 

Before turning pro Lee was a top amateur and represented Ireland in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

 

“It’s great that my fans in the U.S. will get to see the fight between me and Saunders and I guarantee it’s going to be exciting,” Lee said.

 

Saunders (22-0, 12 KOs), of Hatfield, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, is the WBO’s No. 1 middleweight contender.  The 26-year-old is coming off a fourth-round TKO over Yoannan Bloyer last July 24 in London.

 

Two starts ago, in the most note-worth victory of his career, the 5-foot-11, Saunders took a 12-round split decision over Chris Eubank Jr. on Nov. 29, 2014, in London. All but one of Saunders’ fights have taken place in England; the other was Northern Ireland.

 

Saunders was also an accomplished amateur; he represented England in the 2008 Olympic Games as a welterweight at the age of 18. Saunders is the great-grandson of one of Britain’s most famous gypsy bare-knuckle champions, Absolom Beeney.

 

“This is a massive night for me and I’m excited that it’s going out live to America,” Saunders said.  “The U.S. viewers will get to see just what I can do when I face Lee and become world champion.  It’s a big boost for me and takes the fight to another level when American TV comes on board and then you know it’s a big fight on the world stage.  I hope that (Gennady) Golovkin and (Miguel) Cotto will be both watching because I’m fast approaching their level and they’ll get to see what I’m all about.”

 

Promoter Frank Warren said, “I’m delighted that SHOWTIME will now be televising Lee vs. Saunders live in the U.S. as it confirms the importance of this fight on the world scene.  My relationship with the network goes back many years with fights like Joe Calzaghe vs. Jeff Lacy, Ricky Hatton vs. Kostya Tszyu, Frank Bruno vs. Oliver McCall, plus Naseem Hamed and Nigel Benn fights.  I believe that Lee vs. Saunders will be another great fight to add to that list because of what’s at stake for both fighters.  What lies ahead for the winner will make them fight to their very best.”