Billy Joe Saunders is a British professional boxer. Saunders is the first boxer from the Travelling community to become a two-weight world champion. He held world championships in two weight classes. From 2015 to 2018, he held the WBO middleweight title and he held the WBO super-middleweight title from 2019 to May 2021. He lost his first professional fight against Canelo Alvarez in May 2021 failing to defend his WBO super-middleweight title. He also held several middleweight titles at the regional level including European, British, and Commonwealth titles. He also won several gold medals at junior and amateur levels. As of December 2020, he was ranked best number 6 active super-middleweight boxer across the world.
As of May 2021, he has set a 31-30 record.
What is Billy Joe Saunders Famous For?
- WBO middleweight champion from 2015 to 2018.
- WBO super-middleweight champion from 2019 to 2021.
Where is Billy Joe Saunders From?
Billy Joe Saunders was born on 30 August 1989. His birth place is in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire in England. He holds a British nationality. He grew up in a Romanichal traveling community near Hatfield, Hertfordshire. His father is Tommy Saunders. He has a brother named Tom Saunders Jr. He belongs to white ethnicity and his religion is Christianity. His zodiac sign is Virgo.
Billy Joe Saunders Career
- Saunders started boxing for the Chestnut Amateur Boxing club. He started boxing in the welterweight division.
- He won his first 49 amateur fights at senior level including the 2007 Commonwealth Championships and the 2008 Strandzha Cup.
- He won gold at the 2007 EU Junior Championships and gold at the 2007 Commonwealth Championships in Liverpool.
- He won gold at the 2008 Strandzha Cup in Bulgaria.
- He also won gold at the 2008 EU Championships in Cetniewo.
- He was 18 years old when he qualified for the Beijing Olympics in the welterweight division.
- He lost to Carlos Banteux in the second round in Beijing.
- He became the first person from the British Romanichal community to qualify for European Championships.
- He was suspended for “lewd behavior”, allegedly pertaining to an incident with a local woman during a pre-season training camp in France.
- Saunders turned professional in December 2008.
- He made his professional debut on 28 February 2009 against Attila Molnar at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.
- He won his first major regional title in April 2012 after he defeated Tony Hill to win the Commonwealth middleweight championship.
- He defeated Nick Blackwell via a unanimous decision to win the vacant British middleweight title in December 2012.
- Saunders won the European middleweight championship after he defeated Emanuele Blandamura via knockout in the eighth round in July 2014.
- He defeated undefeated Chris Eubank Jr. via a split decision in November 2014. He earned the Lonsdale Belt outright after making his third defense of the British middleweight title.
- He defeated WBO world middleweight champion Andy Lee via majority decision to win the WBO world middleweight title in December 2015. It was his first-world title.
- He made his first world title defense against the WBO European middleweight champion Artur Akavov in December 2016. He defeated Akavov via a unanimous decision to retain his WBO title.
- He parted ways with his long-time trainer Jimmy Tibbs in 2017 after he failed to be present at Saunders’s title defense against Akavov.
- He announced his new trainer to be Adam Booth whom he worked with only for 6 months. He parted ways with Booth and joined Dominic Ingle.
- Saunders defeated Willie Monroe Jr. via unanimous decision in September 2017 to make his second world title defense.
- He defended his world title for the third time when he defeated former IBF champion David Lemieux in December 2017. It was Saunder’s first appearance on HBO.
- Saunders vacated his WBO middleweight title in October 2018 after he tested positive for oxilofrine, known as a stimulant in September 2018. Saunders promoter Warren claimed the positive test was due to a nasal spray and was permitted by UKAD. He was denied a license at the hearing, meaning he could not defend his title against former two-time light-middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade.
- He was given a six-month suspension by the WBO.
- Upon his return, Saunders defeated Charles Adamu in December 2018.
- WBO lifted Suanders’ suspension in January 2019. The bout between Saunders and Andrade was ordered for the WBO title.
- However, Saunders moved up in the super-middleweight division.
- He was scheduled to fight Shefat Isufi for the interim WBO super-middleweight in May 2019. After current champion, Gilberto Ramirez officially vacated the WBO title to fight in the light heavyweight title, the Saunders vs. Isufi fight would be for the full world title.
- He defeated Isufi via unanimous decision to become the WBO super-middleweight champion.
- With the win, he also became a two-weight world champion.
- He made his first WBO super-middleweight title defense against Marcelo Esteban Coceres in November 2019. He knocked out Coceres three times in the eleventh round.
- He made his second title defense against Martin Murray in December 2020. He won via unanimous decision.
- He suffered the first defeat of his professional career after he lost against Canelo Alvarez in May 2021. The fight was a unification bout for Saunders’ WBO title and Alvarez’s WBA (Super), WBC, and The Ring titles. Saunders gave up the fight after he was hit with an uppercut towards the end of the eighth round, causing swelling to his right eye and not being able to see. He suffered multiple fractures to his eye socket and had to undergo surgery.
Billy Joe Saunders Height
Billy Joe Saunders stands at a height of 1.8 m i.e. 5 feet and 11 inches tall. He has a body weight of 76 kg. He has a reach of 1.8 m. He has an athletic body build. His eye color is green and his hair color is brown. His sexual orientation is straight.
Billy Joe Saunders Wife
Billy Joe Saunders is not married yet. At present, he is single. He was previously in a long-term relationship with Ruby. He shares two sons with his former girlfriend Ruby. His sons are Billy Joe Jr. and Steve. He also has a daughter named Vienna born in 2017.
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Billy Joe Saunders Net Worth
Billy Joe Saunders earns from his career as a professional boxer. The majority of his income comes from contracts, purses, and endorsements. One of the successful boxers in the world, he has only suffered one defeat in his professional career, which came in May 2021. He has won purse in millions from his fights. At present, his net worth is estimated at around $2 million.