On Saturday night December 19th, form the Manchester Arena in England, Andy Lee (34-2-1, 24 KO’s) will put his WBO Middleweight title on the line against mandatory contender Billy Joe Saunders (22-0, 12 KO’s).  In the co-feature it will be Liam Smith (21-0-1, 11 KO’s) VS Kilrain Kelly (16-0, 7 KO’s) for the WBO Junior Middleweight title.  This fight will be brought to you by SkySports BoxNation, but will also be aired on ShowTime as part of the ShowTime International Series.  Here is the breakdown and predictions:

ANDY LEE

-Record:  34 – 2 – 1, 24 KO’s

-Weight Class:  Middleweight (160 lbs)

-Height:  6′ 2″

-Reach:  75″

-Born:  6/11/84 (age 31)

-Notable Fights:

  • Julio Cesar Chavez Jr  —  Loss, TKO 7th round (12), 6/16/12.
  • Matt Koborov  —  Win, TKO 6th round (12), 12/13/14.  (Won WBO Middleweight title)
  • Peter Quillin  —  Draw, Split Decision (12), 4/11/15.

After the shocking upset victory over Matt Koborov for the WBO title, Andy Lee took on Peter Quillin.  It was a disappointing split decision draw, but Lee kept his title.  Lee has a tremendous right hook that can put anyone down at anytime, but doesn’t have much of an arsenal besides that.  Saunders will have to be careful to avoid that punch, or else he will end up just like Koborov, down for the count.  Lee continues to surprise people, because he typically goes up against opponents better then him.  He’s always losing on the scorecards and then, BOOM.  He takes them out with that right hook.

BILLY JOE SAUNDERS

-Record:  22 – 0 – 0, 12 KO’s

-Weight Class:  Middleweight (160 lbs)

-Height:  5′ 11″

-Reach:  N/A

-Born:  8/30/89 (age 26)

-Notable Fights:

  • Jarrod Fletcher  —  Win, TKO 2nd round (12), 9/14/12.
  • Gary O’Sullivan  —  Win, Unanimous Decision (12), 7/20/13.
  • Chris Eubank Jr  —  Win, Split Decision (12), 11/29/14.  (Won WBO title eliminator)

Billy Joe Saunders will enjoy a nice 5 year age advantage against Andy Lee.  That also means he will give up a lot in the experience department.  Saunders has a perfect record, and has been very impressive showing a high ring IQ.  He now gets his title shot, as he defeated Chris Eubank in the WBO title eliminator by a very narrow margin.  Eubank is definitely the most impressive name on Saunders’ resume to date, so it will be interesting to see how he reacts when the pressure is really on.

Predictions:

  • Liam Smith  —  def  —  Kilrain Kelly  —  via  —  unanimous decision
  • Billy Joe Saunders  —  def  —  Andy Lee  —  via  —  split decision

-David Jukic, INSIDE RINGSIDE

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