BILLY JOE SAUNDERS retained his WBO middleweight title with a points win over Artur Akavov on Saturday (December 3) at the Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley, Scotland.

It was a low key performance that Saunders won on all three cards, 116-113, 116-112 and 115-113.

This bout had been postponed twice. “There was nothing there. I’ve been out a year, a bit overweight. A few adjustments to camp. Just flat, really, really flat,” Saunders lamented afterwards. “I’d like to apologise to the fans, especially who paid for it. Terrible performance.”

Speaking to the BoxNation cameras, he said, “I’ve got to go back adjust, adjust proper and new year I want a big fight to put that right because that’s not acceptable. That’s not a world championship performance at all.”

Interestingly Jimmy Tibbs, Saunders’ normal coach was not in his corner. “In boxing sometimes you’ve got to do what you feel is right yourself. It may not be the right decision, it may be the right decision,” he said. “I’m not making no comment on Jimmy.”

Former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury however was present to support Saunders.