Billy Joe Saunders remained on course to challenge the winner of the Las Vegas super fight between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez after defending his WBO middleweight title with a unanimous points decision over American Willie Monroe Jr. on Saturday.
The 28-year-old Saunders, (25-0, 12 knockouts) was fighting for the first time under new trainer Dominic Ingle. He received scores of 117-111, 115-114, 117-112 from the three ringside judges.
It was his superior sharpness and intent as much as his skills that secured his latest victory. Leading with the jab and also succeeding to Monroe’s body, Saunders began with a typically-fast pace and faced little more than jabs in return.
In the third round an accurate right uppercut hurt his challenger, and it was only when a cut opened by the bridge of his nose following an accidental clash of heads in the fourth that the American temporarily fought with greater belief.
Monroe’s record fell to 21-3, with six knockouts.
Promising heavyweight Daniel Dubois had earlier earned his fifth victory from five when stopping A.J. Carter in only 48 seconds. Carter required oxygen and was immediately sent to hospital, having been knocked down three times.