Billy Joe Saunders vs Martin Murray - Fight Preview

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This Friday the unbeaten two weight world champion Billy Joe Saunders defends his WBO Super-Middleweight Title against four time world title challenger Martin Murray in a cracking domestic match up.

This fight has been scheduled to happen twice before with injuries and boxing politics getting in the way on those occasions so it looks set to be third time lucky this weekend.

We'll be taking an in depth look at the fight to see where it can be won and lost for both fighters and giving a prediction for it.

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How Billy Joe Saunders Wins The Fight

Billy Joe Saunders, one of the most controversial fighters in the sport but by a distance one of the most naturally talented.

A highly decorated amateur, he represented Great Britain at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing but was beaten in the second round and subsequently turned professional a few months later.

As a professional, he's been almost faultless. 29 wins from 29 fights including 14 stoppage victories picking up the Southern Area, British, Commonwealth & WBO World Titles at Middleweight along with the WBO World Super-Middleweight Title in the process. We're talking about one of the most naturally talented fighters to come out of England this decade.

Controversy has marred Saunders's career so far but that can't be looked in to and if you look at him as a boxer, he's a heck of a talent. With wins over the likes of Chris Eubank Jnr, Andy Lee, John Ryder & David Lemeiux, Saunders has built up a reputation for being one of the slickest southpaws in the game.

So how can he get the better of the much more experienced Martin Murray?

Well for starters, Saunders needs to box to his own level and not Murray's. He's well known for being complacent in fights against lesser opponents but when his back is against the wall, he pulls out showreel performances which he showed against Eubank Jnr, Andy Lee and arguably the best performance from a British fighter on away turf against David Lemieux.

Saunders is by far the superior boxer, even Murray would probably admit that so Billy Joe needs to use that advantage as much as he can. Murray is likely to set the pace so if Saunders can get on the back foot and use that impeccable footwork and boxing IQ of his then he should make it fairly straight forward for himself.

He's not known for his one punch power Saunders but he's been known to break fighters down with his accumulative power. Murray has only been stopped once in his career and that was after doing 11 rounds with Gennady Golovkin so it will be a big ask for Billy Joe to stop him but if he can find a home for that southpaw jab and bring the left hook to the body in to play, he could get the St Helens man out of there later on in the fight.

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A four time world title challenger, Martin Murray has been fighting at the highest level in the sport for over nine years but he's yet to claim world honours.

Despite this, he's been more than hard done by in three of his four world title fights to date. He claimed a draw on away turf against Felix Sturm in a fight which really he clearly won. He then lost out to points decisions to Sergio Martinez and Arthur Abraham and again, he was massively unlucky to be on the wrong side of both of those decisions with many people believing he won both and looking back on them, they've got a very good case.

Even though he's yet to win a world title, his five defeats have only really come to the very best in the sport and he is clearly a fighter that Saunders has to take seriously.

He's won six of his last seven fights with his only defeat since 2016 coming against Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam in a fight which wasn't fit for either fighters career highlights video.

So how does he get the better of Billy Joe?

As previously mentioned, Saunders is comfortably the better boxer out of the two and in all, Murray has had the much tougher career out of the pair with nearly 100 more rounds boxed. However, that's what he needs to use to his advantage. Saunders has been known to start slow in fights and Murray needs to use his vast experience to find a way inside of Saunders southpaw jab and turn this in to an absolute dog fight. He needs to get on his chest, throw a couple of low blows in there and a couple of rabbit punches to wind Saunders up and ultimately take him off his game plan. Murray has to make this a phone booth fight cause if he lets Saunders get into his rhythm off his back foot, it will be a long hard night for the Merseysider.

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Billy Joe Saunders V Martin Murray Prediction

In reality, this fight is probably happening a couple of years late and if it wasn't for COVID, it probably wouldn't be happening.

Billy Joe was literally hours away from getting announced as Canelo's next opponent back in March before the pandemic and with that carrot now firmly dangling for him to get a shot at the winner of Canelo vs Smith next year, we're expecting him to put in a big performance.

Murray is now somewhat 'over the hill' and with Saunders the younger man by seven years, he's in the peak of his career whilst Murray is in the twilight of his.

We're expecting Murray to take the fight to Saunders early on but Billy Joe to slowly break him down the longer the fight goes on then in the latter rounds get him out of there.

With fighting on the front foot, you force the pace of the fight but you also leave opportunities for your opponent to have success to both body and head and against someone like Saunders, you can't afford to give them those sort of opportunities but really, that's the only way Murray is going to stand a chance of winning this fight.

Prediction: Billy Joe Saunders to win between rounds 7-12 - Best priced 9/2 @ SkyBet

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