Sluggish Saunders Beats Akavov in First Title Defence

imageBy Andrew McCart (@Andy_FCBoxing)

A sluggish Billy Joe Saunders retained his WBO world title against Russia’s Artur Akavov.

Saunders, who was fighting for the first time in almost a year, was second best in the first half of the fight and struggled to land any significant shots.

Akavov was on the front foot and did appear to have control of the fight against a jaded Saunders. However, with 30 or so seconds left in the eighth round, Saunders managed to push Akavov back and landed a nice shot to end the round.

Although the Hatfield traveler’s usual slickness and confidence were missing, the 27-year old champion managed to do enough in the judges eyes. Who scored the fight 116-113, 116-112 and 115-112. Saunders has now improved his record to 24-0, 12KO’s.

It was a poor performance from the usually slick Saunders and a long way from his best, but the WBO champion admitted a win’s a win.

“I should be embarrassed to talk about facing Gennady Golovkin on that performance… I felt flat… A win’s a win.”

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