More honours for Hatfield boxer Billy Joe Saunders
PUBLISHED: 16:14 16 April 2015 | UPDATED: 16:14 16 April 2015
Hatfield's European boxing champion Billy Joe Saunders has added two more accolades to his list of honours.
The 25-year-old, who is in line for a shot at Andy Lee’s WBO world title, has become a double award winner with the European Boxing Union.
The unbeaten European middleweight title holder has been nominated as the EBU Champion of the Year and also Championship of the Year for his part in the thrilling showdown with arch rival Chris Eubank Jnr.
Saunders won the European crown last July with a stunning eighth round knockout of Emanuele Blandamura in Manchester.
He followed that up in November with a points decision over Eubank Jnr in a fiery showdown to retain the European title.
The former Beijing Olympian has cleaned up domestically at 160lbs and in addition to the prized European belt, Saunders has won the British title outright; made six defences of the Commonwealth title; captured the WBO International title; beaten back-to-back four undefeated fighters: Eubank Jnr, Blandamura, John Ryder and Gary O’Sullivan, and maintained a perfect 21-0 record.
The Hatfield man now headlines the Wembley Arena on Saturday, May 9 alongside Eubank Jnr as they build toward a huge grudge match similar to the epic division rivalries between greats Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank and Michael Watson.
Saunders said: “It’s fantastic to be recognised by the EBU for not only one, but two awards.
“Of course, to be named Boxer of the Year is a tremendous honour, seeing as there are a lot of great European fighters out there, but my achievements in the ring haven’t been matched by anyone else in the last few years, so I’m delighted that they have rewarded me with this.
“I was confident and believed that I could defeat Eubank Jnr, which proved to be true.
“It was a great fight to have at that stage of my career to establish my dominance in Britain and Europe as the number one in the division, without doubt.
“Whilst Eubank Jnr wasn’t the hardest opponent of my career, the fight was the highest profile I’ve had, and since beating him it’s put my on another level.
“The fans and media liked it and I’m glad that this has been recognised by the EBU as Contest of the Year.”
Tickets, priced at £40, £50, £75, £100 and £200 are available from Eventim on 0844 249 1000 or www.eventim.co.uk and SSE Arena, Wembley, on 0844 815 0815 or www.ssearena.co.uk (Disabled Line 0208 782 5629).
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