Billy Joe beaten in semi bout

PUBLISHED: 17:17 29 February 2008 | UPDATED: 09:40 27 October 2009

Billy Joe Saunders

Billy Joe Saunders

OLYMPIC hopeful Billy Joe Saunders suffered semi-final heartache in Pescara today (Friday). The 18-year-old Hatfield amateur boxer agonisingly lost 15-13 to Ukrainian Olexandr Stretskyy in the Olympic qualifying tournament. The winner is now guaranteed a

OLYMPIC hopeful Billy Joe Saunders suffered semi-final heartache in Pescara today (Friday).

The 18-year-old Hatfield amateur boxer agonisingly lost 15-13 to Ukrainian Olexandr Stretskyy in the Olympic qualifying tournament.

The winner is now guaranteed a place in the Beijing Games later this year.

Welterweight Billy Joe can, however, be proud of some fantastic performances in Italy this week.

He battered Georgia's Kakhaber Zhvania 15-5 in the penultimate qualifying round of the 69kg class on Wednesday.

Saunders, who lives on a travellers' site on the A414 just outside Hatfield, beat Russia's former European amateur champion Andrey Balanov 18-13 earlier in the week at the 1st AIBA European Olympic qualifying event.

He then scored a tense 13-12 points victory over awkward Pole Michal Starbala.

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