Boxing Picks: Back Saunders to Win WBO Middleweight Title vs. Lee

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, December 12, 2015 8:18 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015 8:18 PM UTC

WBO champion Andy Lee will be defending his middleweight title in Manchester, England on December 19th against undefeated European and British champ Billy Joe Saunders. Let's see what the boxing odds makers have to say about this title tilt.

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Boxing Pick: Billy Joe Saunders -105
Best Line Offered: at Bovada


Billy Joe Saunders (22-0, 12 KO's)
When one considers Billy Joe Saunders' "meteoric" rise began way back in 2007 it doesn't seem quite so sudden. As a matter of fact Saunders has worked long and hard to earn the credibility that is worthy of a shot at a world title. The 26-year-old southpaw has dispatched each and every opponent he has faced with his most recent victory coming at the expense of Yoann Bloyer whom he starched in the fourth round of their scheduled 12-rounder by TKO.

Saunders is young, brash and bulletproof with no blemishes on his record and nothing but sunny skies in his future. However, he will be running headlong into a middleweight champion who has carved out an impressive record himself and sits atop all WBO middleweights. Evidently Saunders doesn't view Andy Lee as much of a roadblock if you believe his comments from earlier this year.

"Andy Lee is strong and game but he's been on the floor in his last three fights and is coming to the end. He's at a point where he's cashing in and I don't blame him for that but I'm too fresh for him. His luck has got to run out some time and I'm the man to take his title. He's got a lot of miles on the clock, unlike, say, [Gennady] Golovkin, who is still young and fresh as a champion."


Andy Lee (34-2-1, 24 KO's)
Andy Lee's last outing was unique in that he experienced the indifferent taste of a draw for the first time in his storied career. Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin, the former WBO middleweight title holder, caught Lee in the opening round of their April encounter and nailed him with an overhand right that sent Lee splashing to the canvas. Another Lee knockdown in the third round portended a short night for the clash of champions (Quillin had previously vacated the WBO title which Lee subsequently claimed in a title elimination win over previously undefeated Matvey Korobov) but Lee proved to be resilient, gritty and game with a shocking knockdown of Quillin in the seventh round. It was the first time in Quillin's career he had ever tasted the canvas and as the fight progressed Andy Lee grew stronger and more determined. Ultimately the fight wound up as a split draw and Lee retained his WBO middleweight crown. As a side note Lee's title was never in jeopardy as Quillin missed weight and therefore was not eligible to claim the title if he was victorious.


Betting Analysis
The boxing odds makers have this one as a legitimate coin flip. In some books you will Lee as a slight favorite while in other Saunders is the small choice. However, I am convinced that Billy Joe Saunders is the right fighter to include in my boxing picks for Saturday December 19th. Saunders is a pure tactician with a very slick rat-a-tat-tat jab and seamless footwork. Saunders never stops moving forward and will be pressing the action throughout.

Andy Lee is a world class fighter as evidenced by his record, his opponents and the strap around his waist. He will provide Saunders his biggest test to date and is always capable of sending his opponents to sleep if they are not careful. But Saunders will be careful because he is a crafty fighter himself and a veteran of close to a decade of top amateur and professional competition. Lee will be a stern test but the belt will be changing hands on December 19th.

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