Saunders looking to finish the job
PUBLISHED: 12:21 29 February 2008 | UPDATED: 09:40 27 October 2009
AFTER boxing his way to within one win of Olympic qualification, Hatfield welterweight Billy Joe Saunders warned the job isn t done yet . The 18-year-old battered Georgia s Kakhaber Zhvania 15-5 on Wednesday in the penultimate Olympic qualifying round
AFTER boxing his way to within one win of Olympic qualification, Hatfield welterweight Billy Joe Saunders warned "the job isn't done yet".
The 18-year-old battered Georgia's Kakhaber Zhvania 15-5 on Wednesday in the penultimate Olympic qualifying round in Pescara, Italy.
In this tournament the teenager has regularly made a slow start to his bouts and this one was no different.
From 3-1 down in the first round, Saunders stepped up a gear in the second.
This shifted him to a class above the very awkward but very experienced Zhvania.
From 7-3 at the end of the second Saunders coasted to clear water and just had too much of everything for the Georgian as he comfortably ran out a 15-5 winner.
After his success, the young pugilist said: "I am very honoured to be representing my country.
"I want to thank Lottery funding, GB coaches and my club coaches for getting me here. The job isn't done yet."
The youngster, who lives on a traveller's site on the edge of Hatfield, will qualify for Beijing should he beat Ukrainian Olexandr Stretskyy in the semi-final later today (Friday).
Were he to lose, he would still face the loser of the other semi-final for the third qualification spot.
Of the young boxer's performances, GB coach Terry Edwards said: "He started nervously, got into a rhythm and away he went.
"Billy Joe has had three hard bouts against very experienced opposition.
"A tournament as big as this is a lot for an 18-year-old to take on board, Billy Joe has shown he has a mature mind as well as a well of talent.