Billy Joe Saunders wastes no time in tearing apart Martin Murray's win against Garcia

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WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders wasted no time in belittling British rival Martin Murray's scrappy unanimous decision victory over the eight-years unbeaten Roberto Garcia at London's O2 Arena last night.

Murray was due to fight the unbeaten Saunders in what would have been his fifth attempt at securing a world title, only for the Hatfield fighter to pull out of the bout with a hamstring injury, the second occasion Saunders had postponed proceedings against Murray.

Speaking earlier this month, Murray branded his foe a 'hypocrite' after pointing out that Saunders had chastised David Haye for pulling out of three bouts due to injury in a 2013 tweet.

Following Murray's hard-fought victory over Mexico's Garcia last night, BJS tweeted: "I didn't want to get arrested for GBH tonight that's why I pulled out #Bum but I'm sure my son Steve would be available next for the WBC silver."

Saunders' barb aimed at Murray's achievements seems a little rich, given that the Liverpudlian's fifth shot at a world title fell through due to no fault of his own.

On the contrary, Murray will point to Saunders' own dismal record in defending his WBO crown; it has only been placed on the line three times by the middleweight since it was wrestled from the hands of Irishman Andy Lee in late 2015.

He defeated an entirely overmatched Artur Akavov a full year after becoming champion, before defeating the light punching, former Gennady Golovkin victim Willie Monroe Jr nine months later.

However, the win against Monroe was followed by a stellar defeat of the feared David Lemieux (another Golovkin victim), a battle which saw Saunders completely nullifying the huge punching Canadian en-route to an emphatic UD victory.

Saunders received widespread plaudits for the defensive masterclass served up against Lemieux, which went a significant way to increasing the popularity of the abrasive champion.

Boxing at the 02

Following his win last night, Murray was scathing in his assessment of Saunders' excuses, telling Sky Sports: "You cannot trust the man, he has done it twice so for me to do it again there would have to be some insurance in place.

"He loves being the world champion but does not defend his belts. If there was insurance in place I would fight him and take him to school."

On his aspirations to finally become a belt-holder, he concluded: "I do believe there is a world title in me. I just need the right fight at the right time."

That fight may well not include Saunders, who will be angling to face the winner of the Canelo v Golovkin rematch, which is scheduled for September.

Domestic rival and IBF super-middleweight champion James DeGale will also be in Saunders' crosshairs should Golovkin and Canelo pass on the opportunity to accept the BJS challenge.

If Saunders chooses to leave Murray out to dry, the veteran may set his sights on the IBF middleweight crown, which became available after Golovkin was stripped of the title for failing to negotiate a fight with mandatory opponent Sergiy Derevyanchenko.

Frank Warren
Billy Joe Saunders

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