British champion is gunning for unbeaten Islington star

Billy Joe Saunders

Billy Joe Saunders - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

British middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders has issued a warning to challenger John Ryder following his comprehensive victory over Gary O’Sullivan last weekend.

Saunders, who also holds the Commonwealth strap, produced a boxing masterclass at Wembley Arena to hand the tough Irishman his first defeat in 17 contests and add the WBO international title to his collection.

Now Saunders, who took a unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards, is aiming to end Ryder’s unbeaten record as well when the Islington star challenges him for the British title in the autumn.

“Now let’s see if Ryder can cope with the speed, volume and variety of punches and the relentless pace I’m going to set against him,” said Saunders.

“I’ve shown what I can do against a very tough and unbeaten fighter in O’Sullivan, who was supposed to give me the hardest fight of my career. Now I’ll do the same against Ryder, if not better.

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“I can beat him as easily as I want to beat him – it’s all about me and how I perform on the night, but I’m up for this like never before because there’s a lot at stake.

“He’s a very hard and strong lad, but limited in boxing skills. This is all about skills and levels and I’ll leave Ryder in the starting blocks once I start going through all my gears.

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“After beating Ryder I have to be recognised as the number one middleweight in Britain.”

Ryder, the former Angel ABC amateur, will aim to dethrone Saunders when the pair clash on Saturday September 21 at the Copper Box Arena, Stratford.

Islington super-featherweight Joey Taylor recorded his third straight win as a professional by outpointing Mansfield’s Pavel Senkovs on Saturday at Wembley Arena.

The 25-year-old former Lion ABC amateur ceded height and reach to his opponent but did enough to gain a 40-37 points decision, despite taking some blows in the last of the four rounds.

“I bruised my right hand during the fight, but that didn’t stop me from throwing it,” Taylor told the Gazette. “I was a bit rusty out there and got caught a few times in that last round.

“I’ll have a rest now and go back into training before the new season starts in September.”

Taylor went on the offensive immediately, forcing his opponent onto the back foot and cutting down the distance to negate his long left jab.

The Londoner dominated the first three rounds, using a stiff left jab and overhead right-handers to both head and body, but the final round was a closer affair as the duo traded punches in the centre of the ring.

Senkovs landed with his right hook a few times, but Taylor continued to score with some solid uppercuts and referee Robert Williams marked the contest in his favour.

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