12 thoughts on “Video – Andy Lee vs. Billy Joe Saunders ‘Head to Head with Steve Bunce’: Part 1

  1. Enjoyed that! “Mood” music, a la Kellerman’s show, included haha.

    Don’t know the two well enough to pick this one, having only seen a handful of work from each. But I do know the Saunders-Eubank Jr match perfectly well. I think Billy Joe is engaging in some minor revisionism when he says he coasted through it, stepping off the gas in the later rounds because it was safe. The takeaway from that fight, to me, is something else: he is susceptible to sustained hard attack, even when he is the better boxer. He fades as he’s pushed, skill set not enough to keep heavier hands off him.

    Lee will not need nearly as long to get started as Eubank Jr did. Nor will he look lost for ideas.

    Your thoughts?

    • Better than the majority of the HBO iterations of this format, in my opinion! Part 2 available now too.

      I agree with your assessment of Saunders-Eubank, and Saunders is engaging in some major revisionism. The truth is that he fades late, and Lee starts slow. Lee has also been known to tire down the stretch, but even then he has the power to turn a fight, just ask Craig McEwan.

      Basically, this fight will tell us if BJS is truly an elite level professional and has learned from the Eubank close call.

      If he has, his superior workrate will allow him to get the advantage early over the often disjointed Lee & hold on for a points win. If not, then he will crumble after 6 rounds and get knocked out, probably by a right hook.

      My pick is Lee by late stoppage in a fight that’s even and exciting, while still being mostly technical, to that point, but all I really want is the fight to finally take place. With the delays in mind, I think that also hurts Saunders, who will enter the ring with just one win over a journeyman in the past year.

      Incidentally, Eubank Jr. makes his Matchroom debut this weekend. His first test is already lined up for December: a grudge match with twitter rival and former Saunders victim, Gary O’Sullivan, from Cork, Ireland.

  2. Enjoyed your take on this.

    Caught Eubank Jr. on the weekend dining on chum. Bit of a pointless lace-up, wasn’t it. Longer to put on the gloves than to trounce the poor imported victim. Crowd well displeased.

    Much more enjoyable was the recent Macklin-Welborn. Two hard men giving it their all in a war of attrition (and, I suppose, the subtext of late career resuscitation hopes).

    Looking back to look ahead, I was only able to find highlights of the old Saunders-O’Sullivan match, but enough to see Saunders boxing his ears off. As Eubank’s way is to plant himself and stalk, there’s the possibility of a brawl between sluggers, would you say?

    Watched anything good?

    • Woeful mismatch but it’s understandable after his layoff & first fight with new trainer. Amusingly Johnny Nelson had expressed faux fears that Eubank was being “overmatched” prior to the contest. A company man to the hilt.

      Macklin-Welborn was fun, but further proof that Macklin is shot and has no business continuing to fight. Best case scenario, he gets fed to a light punching Haymon guy like Lara.

      Saunders-Spike was a 120-108 schooling, but Eubank’s style should give Spike at least some chances to unload his bombs.

      Here’s one of several spectacular Spike knockouts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzWcVCTnLZs

      And a bonus video of him barely avoiding a stool flung by one of the lowlifes in his defeated opponent’s camp: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UCy1iKlXEU

      Not much in past couple of weeks, other than the opening episodes of season 2 of The Affair. You?

  3. Me neither, reading mainly. I’ve enjoyed the first two of the VanderMeer Southern Reach books. Just got hold of Ben Okri’s An African Elegy. Nearly finished True Detective — one to go.

    Enjoyed that Spike KO! Looking over his career, he’s had a remarkably similar trajectory to Eubank Jr. Lots of easy fights but trouble graduating to the next level. The best guy he’s beaten, the one and only Melvin Betancourt, had been feasting on 0-15 schlubs before being served his Guinness.

    Arguably, fascist bike gang mascot D. Chudinov is a higher order of opponent than Betancourt, if no world beater. And to compare the mutual loss to Saunders, Eubank Jr. was battling him in ways Spike was hapless to do. So the case can be made he’s done more and shows more versatility. Still, it’s a thin case, I think, amplified by his exciting style and famous pedigree, and no end of hype.

    But I don’t think Eubank Jr. can hope to keep the bruiser off him by moving the way BJS does. So I suppose a test of Adam Booth’s training will be whether a slugfest ensues or is circumvented by superior boxing. Chin test coming up!

    Btw, what is behind the demand by Sr. to be known as “English”? Wouldn’t “Tip-Top Toff” have a better ring? Triple T!

    • Do let me know your thoughts once you’ve finished TD.

      Just finished reading a high quality investigative report on early 90s women’s tennis, entitled “Ladies of the Court”. Watched Dogtooth today, directed by Lanthimos, the man behind The Lobster (current critical hit, which was largely filmed in my locale of County Kerry). Intelligent, darkly comic satire, shot in a mature visual style.

      Betancourt is terrible imo (I think Fitzgerald, who gave Andy Lee a solid fight, is Spike’s best win) and levels below the decent Chudinov. Lol @ “fascist bike gang mascot”. I think Eubank wins handily over Spike, but, for the reasons you’ve stated, it is a fairly intriguing test. It’s also a final eliminator for the winner of Quillin-Jacobs’ fight with the WBA’s “sub-Golovkin” trinket at stake.

      Haha apparently it was the nickname his father (Eubank Sr. Sr.?) went by, and this is Senior’s homage to keep his father’s name alive. I find the whole thing amusing and it adds to the pantomime.

      • Is that the Mewshaw book? I see it comes with a forward by Frank Deford, a name I associate with quality sports writing. The Amazon blurb gives the impression there was no small amount of darkness in the women’s tennis circuit of the era; the bits about vampiric fathers and exploitative coaches sound quite believably horrid.

        Glad to hear your good report on Dogtooth; been eying that one for a bit when picking films and it looks a transgressive treat. Yes, let’s talk TD, should finish it this week.

        “Eubank Sr. Sr.”! 🙂

      • Yes, it is. My edition comes with a foreword by the author.

        Tennis is my other sporting interest (obsession?) besides boxing, and beneath the glamourous veneer of the tours, lie webs of corruption motivated by the $ bottom line, as well as widespread sexual exploitation. From what I know, tennis has changed little in these regards from the early 90s. I’ll likely read Mewshaw’s expose of the men’s tour, ‘Short Circuit’, in the near future.

        Looking forward to hearing your take on TD finale and season as a whole.

        This rarely happens to me, but got dragged by friends to Spectre last night, my first Bond since The World is Not Enough haha. Not my thing.

        Forgot to mention that I did catch Macbeth recently. I had high expectations, esp. with Fassbender in the lead role, and while it was good, there was nothing particularly special or memorable about the film.

  4. Ironic (or is it?) that a sport like tennis, so much an act of sheer finesse and control, and seemingly so antiseptic, all dressed in white, should be so corrupt beneath the surface. I suppose this is partly a response to all the regimented discipline. But there must be more, beyond even the profit motive. What is your sense of it?

    Ran out of my taste for 007, too. I liked the lavish Connery films, with Ursulas as far as the eye could bulge. But you really do not live twice, do you.

    Too bad about the Macbeth. Do you like Polanski’s version? Properly horrifying.

    • Don’t get me wrong, Macbeth was a good film, but it lacked something for me, although I’d be interested to hear your take. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Polanski’s adaptation (I own it on videotape), but I recall mostly enjoying it. I must catch Kurosawa’s appropriately retitled ‘Throne of Blood’ version sometime.

      Speaking of Polanski, another film I caught recently, but forgot to mention, was his latest, ‘Venus in Furs’. A stagey adaptation of a two-hander is not usually my idea of a compelling movie (I wasn’t very impressed with his recent chamber piece ‘Carnage’), but this succeeds brilliantly. Bitingly funny & tremendously well-acted, intertextual take on the battle of the sexes.

      Read Steinbeck’s The Pearl yesterday, my first look at his work. I was impressed by the novella’s insight into greed, colonialism & loss of innocence.

      I loved Bond movies as a child and feasted on the ‘Bond seasons’ that RTE television used to air every year. They also aired annual Pacino seasons, but it was unfortunately later before I familiarized myself with him.

      Tennis is a curious sport. I can’t speculate as to why, but, among sports, it seems particularly rife with crazy parents who push their kids to the limit at a young age, and often off the proverbial cliff.

      The male coach/pubescent girl dynamic often lends itself to sexual misconduct & abuse.

      Furthermore, there are conflicts of interest virtually everywhere you look, whether it be management companies like IMG, umpires acting as agents for exhibition events (one top ATP umpire recently retired to become a manager for a couple of players) or clothing companies, or tv commentators who have financial stakes in players or tournaments.

      To quote tournament director/agent/clothing dealer/arranger of exhibitions/clinics promoter/print journalist/tv commentator Cino Marchese from the book: “You think I give a shit about tennis? We’re talking about money, not tennis.”

      Finally, I also strongly believe tennis has a huge PED problem rampant in the sport, but, in a golden era of stars extending their primes into their 30s, everybody (fans, media, governing bodies) is happy to look the other way and enjoy the spectacle. The only testing that exists is pathetic and amounts to nothing but lip service, although the same can be said of every major sport.

      Call me sick, but knowing all this I still watch and support tennis, just as I do boxing. In fact, I’ll be in London next month to attend the annual World Tour Finals, for the third time.

      In a pre-Mayweather-Pacquiao interview, Jim Lampley, in my view perceptively, named tennis as the only comparable sport to boxing (to be fair, all fight sports) in terms of the participants being rendered “emotionally naked”. The foundation of the sports on the exchange between individuals of blows/strokes also inherently links them. One must continually react to what the opponent does, and seek to counter it.

      However, luckily for tennis players, they get to strike a ball, rather than each other.

  5. Smashing stuff, Jeremy.

    The Cino Marchese quote would seem to be, pardon the pun, the money shot. I know little about tennis, but his sorry avowal confirms my worst cynicism.

    Had a glimpse of mad parent-offspring athlete pressure in my youth. Happily it never fell on me, but a couple of my pals were less lucky. Nothing to match the appalling abuse you have described. More on the order of win/achieve/succeed-OR-ELSE.

    The Lampley analogy and your take on it are, admittedly, the first I’ve thought about the two sports in the light of each other. It’s a nice insight. And btw, as for watching in spite of what one knows, I doubt there’s any amount of corruption that could turn me from boxing. To err is human; to KO, divine.

    Keen to see Venus In Furs. Relieved, too, that the 82-year old Polanski will not be extradited. No excuse for his past, but he is hardly Eichmann and the careerists hounding him are as transparent as they come.

    Glad to hear about your Steinbeck encounter. I should read The Pearl; only know his Of Mice and Men. Have a TC Boyle novel going now, The Harder They Fall, which suits my taste both for the grotesque and the morally incisive.

    • Thanks, and I’m with you: boxing is the red light district of sport, but there’s nothing like a great knockout to transcend all the bullshit.

      The Boyle book looks interesting.

      Been enjoying The Libertines’ new album lately!

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