Billy Joe Saunders vs. John Ryder: Middleweight Expands Horizons with Latest Win
At 24 years of age, Billy Joe Saunders is still in the ascendancy of his professional boxing career but is already taking the necessary steps to mature.
Saturday night saw the Hatfield native beat John Ryder by unanimous decision, judges scoring the star 115-114, 115-113 and 115-113 to round off a well-polished performance, per the Daily Mail's Martin Dormin.
Following a well-chronicled amateur career, a lot is expected of the southpaw in terms of making it at the professional level, and Saunders’ latest win was simply ammunition for him to back up any such claims to future greatness.
Team Tibbs showed the fighter's delight after defending his titles:
Mo Hussein,Frank Buglioni,Me,British and Common Wealth Champ Billy Joe Saunders,Shaun,Dad,Tom Saunders.. pic.twitter.com/tJUjSXYQf4— Team Tibbs (@MarkTibbs) September 22, 2013
Against Ryder, Saunders successfully defended his WBO International Middleweight, Commonwealth and British titles, but it was the manner with which he won that coaches will find most appetising.
For the first time in his career, Ryder went past the eight-round mark and ventured into territory he hadn’t come across before, eventually a factor that had a telling impact on the scorecard.
Having said that, the contender was as tough a test as Saunders has been pitted against, but a calculated and pragmatic display meant that the result wasn’t in doubt for much of the encounter.
“Superb” has now increased his record to an impressive 19-0-0 with his victory, 10 of those being via knockout.
All that being the case, Ryder still has reason to be encouraged by his defeat, putting up a steely defence at times and managing to keep the champion’s jab at bay for stretches.
However, in the end it was Saunders’ picked punches that told the story, defining the difference between the two. According to BoxRec, the win keeps Saunders as Britain’s fourth-ranked middleweight.
The first traveller to hold the British Lonsdale belt, Saunders should now move onto bigger and better things, although a win yielding more confidence might be preferred before heading into the next challenging bout.
Ryder, too, can expect to see his options buoyed by Saturday’s result, with a rematch in the future even a distant possibility.
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