Billy Joe Saunders Profile

Born Aug 30, 1989
Age 31 years
Birthplace Welwyn Garden City, UK
Nickname "Superb"
Height 5ft 11ins
Reach 70 ins
Stance Southpaw
Division Super Middleweight Limit: 168 Pounds
Professional Record 30-0 (14)

Undefeated Saunders is one of the most talented fighters in world boxing but due to his maverick behaviour inside the ring and out, fans just never know which Saunders will turn up on fight night.

Billy Joe Saunders is a two-division world champion who is the current WBO super middleweight titleholder.

Having been promoted for most of his career by Frank Warren, Saunders signed a deal with Matchroom Boxing in 2019 and is fronted by Eddie Hearn.

Saunders previously held the WBO title at middleweight after defeating Irishman Andy Lee and made three successful defences before being stripped of the title in 2019.

The Briton has also won titles at regional, British and European level and won the Lonsdale belt outright with victory over rival Chris Eubank Jr. in 2014. He gave the strap to his father, Tommy, as a Christmas present that year.

In many eyes, 'Superb' is one of the best but most frustrating talents on UK shores.

Southpaw Saunders has received huge admiration for his technical ability but has often been criticised for lacklustre performances and distasteful behaviour outside the ring.

Saunders has fought all but two of his professional fights in Britain, with the other bouts taking place in Canada and America against David Lemieux and Marcelo Esteban Coceres.

Billy Joe Saunders next fight

It remains to be soon as to who Saunders will fight next. The 31-year-old was expected to face Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez in May 2020 only for the coronavirus pandemic and Saunders' behaviour online to force the bout to be postponed.

However, it is believed Saunders will face Canelo on Cinco de Mayo weekend in May 2021 in a super middleweight unification bout. Should a super-fight with Canelo fail to materialise, there are plenty of other options for the Briton.

A meeting with Demetrius Andrade at middleweight or super middleweight would see the pair reignite their rivalry after their proposed bout in 2019 while a possible rematch with Eubank Jr. could also be in the pipeline.

Saunders: I have the tools to beat Canelo

The greatest hits: Eubank, Lemieux and Monroe Jr.

His first fight under the Queensberry banner saw Saunders blast out Attila Molnar inside two rounds before going onto win his next 14 bouts, which saw him pick up the Southern Area strap and two successful defences of the Commonwealth title at middleweight.

His first test came against a brave, game Nick Blackwell. The famous Lonsdale belt was up for grabs alongside the Commonwealth crown. In a gruelling battle, Saunders came through his fellow compatriot to extend his unbeaten record to 16-0.

Wins over Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan and John Ryder would soon follow before accepting a showdown with nemesis Eubank Jr. The heated build-up had caught the public's imagination with many backing Eubank to deliver the goods as some compared it to 'the good old days' where the likes of Eubank Sr, Nigel Benn, Steve Collins and Michael Watson went toe-to-toe.

Saunders inflicted the first loss of Eubank's career via split-decision to win the British title outright and become mandatory to Andy Lee's WBO middleweight world title.

He would bide his time to challenge though after accepting a fee to step aside to allow Lee to take on Peter Quillin.

Saunders

In an enthralling bout, Lee would draw against the American to retain the title before a battle of Britain showdown with fellow travelling fighter Saunders in Manchester.

Saunders revelled in glory, winning by majority decision, which included two knockdowns.

A solid performance against American Willie Monroe Jr. later followed at the Copper Box Arena. His standout victory in recent times is against Lemieux.

Despite the dangers of fighting the heavy-hitting Canadian in his backyard, Saunders delivered a boxing masterclass and created some memorable showboating on his way to outpointing his rival via majority decision.

Billy Joe Saunders' weight

Inactivity and weight issues sometimes go together in boxing. The less active you are in the gym, the harder it is to keep off the pounds. Saunders has at times fluctuated in weight during his time out the ring.

The most famous fighter on British shores in ballooning in weight when out of competition was Ricky Hatton.

Now Saunders has not experienced regular issues like Hatton did outside the ring, but he has turned up to camp out of shape and has previously been spotted doing road runs in Marbella.

The heaviest he has fought at was 178.5-pounds against Charles Adamu - his penultimate fight under the Queensberry banner - before becoming a two-weight world champion at 168-pounds.

His debut fight under Hearn saw him make a successful defence of his WBO super middleweight crown against Marcelo Esteban Coceres in Los Angeles on the KSI vs Logan Paul 2 undercard. 

Promoting history

When there is a split between a promoter and fighter, it normally indicates a fallout over money and a trip to court, but not with Warren and Saunders.

The pair amicably agreed to part ways for Saunders to try and pursue a fight with either Golovkin or Canelo on DAZN.

Warren had previously been in negotiations with Gennadiy Golovkin's team in 2017 and 2018 with an offer on the table, only to be ignored by GGG.

When announcing their split after 11 years together, the pair were very complimentary towards each other.

"I've really enjoyed working with Billy Joe through his whole professional career and guiding him to become British, Commonwealth, European and a two-weight world champion. I'm personally very fond of Billy Joe and I wish him every success in the remainder of his career."

Meanwhile, Saunders said: "It feels a little bittersweet and I'll always be appreciative for everything Frank has done for me. We'll stay close."

How to watch Billy Joe Saunders on TV

You can watch Billy Joe Saunders fight on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the USA, Canada, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Saunders signed for Matchroom Boxing in 2019 ending an 11-year stay with Warren at Queensberry Promotions, where he featured on BoxNation TV and in more recent times BT Sport.

Saunders Monroe

The southpaw is part of an ever-growing company in MTK Global, who represent him and offers top-class facilities out in Marbella, Spain.

They provide fighters with top-class facilities around the world, help with career development and offer endorsements and sponsorship deals.

Who trains Saunders?

Saunders was under the guidance of Jimmy Tibbs for the first eight years of his career before splitting just a month out prior to his first defence as world champion at middleweight.

Prior to receiving criticism for his Akavov performance in 2016, Saunders had long-time friend Ben Davison, Danny Vaughan and Johnney Roye in his corner and once again hired Davison in 2019 when he won his second world title.

Saunders had previously announced Adam Booth as his full-time trainer - it seemed like a match made in heaven with Booth's counterpunching tactics and Saunders' technical ability.

Despite spending time together in the gym, Saunders left Booth due to personal reasons, with the location of the gym being an issue and linked up with Dominic Ingle for a couple of fights.

Davison - who previously trained good friend Tyson Fury - was last in his corner although Tibbs is expected to return as his coach once again.

Hearn: Saunders will be in big fights

Personal life

Saunders has one son and his name is Steve Saunders. It looks likely that he could potentially be following in the world champion's footsteps as a boxer after many clips of his boxing talents went viral on social media.

He did, however, create controversy at the weigh-in of his father's fight against Monroe Jr.

As both men hit the scales and faced off, Steve went in between the pair and stood on the scales. Oblivious to what would happen next, the American got hit in the crown jewels.

Following his points victory, Saunders brought his son into the ring and got him to apologise on the microphone to Monroe.

Saunders' great grandfather Absolom Saunders is one of the most famous bare-knuckle fighters from his community in Hatfield, Hertfordshire.

Saunders is also associated with two-time heavyweight champion Fury, who also comes from a Gypsy background.

Amateur career: 2008 Olympic Games

During his time in the amateur ranks, Saunders won 49 fights, with gold medals coming at the Commonwealth Games and EU Championships in 2007 and 2008, respectively.

The 2008 Olympic Games was next for Saunders in a Team GB squad which included the likes of James DeGale, David Price, Kal Yafai and Tony Jeffries.

Saunders won his opening bout before being eliminated by Carlos Bantaeux - a familiar foe - in the second-round of an encouraging performance which could have seen him progress on another day.

The Cuban star would go on to win silver in Beijing.

His Team GB days ended on a sour note, though, after being suspended for acting in an "obscene" and 'lewd" manner towards a Frenchwoman.

In 2009, Saunders revealed he had dreams of winning gold at the 2012 London Games but was "shafted" in order for Team GB to dismiss Terry Edwards - a coach who had masterminded Team GB to its best Olympic performance in over 50 years - from the coaching set-up.

Following the saga, Saunders turned professional.

Billy Joe Saunders News