Hatfield’s Billy Joe Saunders eased to a comfortable points victory over Willie Monroe Jr in defence of his WBO middleweight strap at the Copperbox on Saturday night. Two counter punching southpaws were never likely to set the place on fire but Monroe seemed content to pretty much go through the motions while Saunders blew away the cobwebs and ring rust. After nine months out, Saunders could be forgiven for having his timing a bit off but he still pressed the action and despite sustaining a cut over his right eye in the 4th, he never looked in trouble and never needed to get out of second gear. Monroe did have some success towards the end of the fight but it was too little too late and Saunders was awarded a unanimous decision with scores of 117-111 115-114 and 117-112. Bigger challenges than the one presented by Monroe must surely await.
Anthony “The Beast” Yarde had an even easier night against the over matched Norbert Nemesapati at light heavyweight. Scheduled for twelve, Yarde teed off on the unfortunate Nemesapati for three rounds until the corner, quite rightly, withdrew their man. Yarde, who brought a lot of fans, is huge at the weight and will presumably move up sooner rather than later, but until that time comes there are plenty of better domestic opponents against whom he could be testing himself.
Another mismatch saw “Dynamite” Daniel DuBois blast out the hapless AJ Carter in a round at heavyweight. The first punch DuBois threw put Carter on the canvas and then a 2nd big right hand downed him again. The fight should have been stopped there and then but Carter was allowed to continue on unsteady legs and was flattened a third time with another huge right. It was a sickening knock out that put Carter down for several minutes and it was fortunate that a fleet footed doctor was at his side within seconds.
The early finish to the Yarde fight meant some good TV exposure for prospects Lucien Reid who boxed a six round shut out against Jose Aguilar and Archie Sharp stopped Imre Nagy in two rounds at super featherweight. Sharp is very tall for a super feather at 5′ 9” and used his reach advantage well to score his 4th consecutive stoppage and move to 10-0 (6).
At ringside for the night was one Tyson Fury. He spent a lot of time talking to fans and posing for selfies and generally on a charm offensive that went down very well. It must be said that he is still carrying a lot of timber and talk of a November return seems fanciful to say the least.
The very late finish to the show did harm the overall event. A lot of people had to leave before the main event in order to get onto public transport out of London. I understand the business reasons behind shortening the gap between the Saunders fight and the big showdown in Vegas but it is a huge source of annoyance that the punters buying the tickets and making the occasion are the last consideration. It’s not just boxing that does this but trying to get back to the home counties at 1:00am will be a deal breaker for many potential ticket buyers in future.