Billy Joe Saunders has retained his WBO middleweight title and is now eagerly waiting to see if he'll get his unification match against the winner of the Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin fight.
Saunders defeated Willie Monroe Jr. to retain the WBO title via unanimous decision (117-111, 115-114, 117-112) in Saunders' second defense of the title since winning it in 2015. Below is the finish of the fight from Fightful's own live coverage of the bout.
Round 12: Monroe goes to the body early but Saunders then clinches. Monroe lands another good body shot and is looking much better compared to the halfway point of this fight. Monroe is making Saunders miss several of his power punches. Saunders is now the one on the move and Monroe is chasing to attack Saunders. Monroe lands a hard right jab to Saunders' jaw. Not a lot of action here to end the fight.
Fightful scored round 12 for Monroe 10-9, making it 116-112 for Saunders
Official Result: Billy Joe Saunders defeated Willie Monroe Jr. to retain the WBO World Middleweight Title Bout via unanimous decision (117-111, 115-114, 117-112)
The champion cruised throughout the majority of the fight, out-jabbing Monroe Jr. and landing more power punches throughout the second half of the fight. Saunders had a cut around the fourth round, but it quickly became a nonfactor as Monroe never took advantage of the opening.
The fight garnered a lot of attention in the boxing community after Saunders' son gave Monroe Jr. a low blow during the weigh-ins the day before.
Saunders retaining the title has him on a very short list of fighters that figure to be the next opponent for whoever wins the Canelo vs. Golovkin fight. Saunders against the Canelo/GGG winner could be the second fight in 2017 in which every single major world title could be on the line, similar to the Terence Crawford vs. Julius Indongo fight back in August where all four major junior welterweight titles were on the line.