Billy Joe Saunders said he would retire if Chris Eubank Jnr beat him on Saturday night at the Excel Arena. I wonder what Saunders was thinking when Phil Edwards score of 116-113 Eubank was read out following the announcement of a split decision. It must have crossed his mind that the old Eubank curse of winning close fights was going to carry on to Jnr but thankfully the two other judges Marcus McDonnell (115-114) and Terry O’Connor (115-113) scored the fight for Saunders with the vast majority agreeing he was the deserved victor.
The fight played out as many expected. Saunders the more experienced fighter started better using a southpaw jab that messed up Eubank’s ability to get his feet right for any concerted attack. Beforehand the general feeling was that Saunders was at least 18 months ahead of Eubank in terms of development. Being the British, Commonwealth and European champion evidenced this sentiment, but the fact Saunders wanted this fight so badly – with a shot at the WBO title on the horizon – must be hugely respected.