Quillin title fight on radar of Olympian Saunders


Dereck Chisora’s latest heavyweight clash with American Malik Scott may be the headline attraction at Wembley, but the unbeaten showdown between former British Olympian Billy Joe Saunders and Ireland’s Gary O’Sullivan may end up proving the show stealer.

Saunders has won all 17 bouts since turning professional in 2009 and is regarded as a heavy favourite at 1/7 to extend this record further, which would provide him with a ranking to move a step closer to a title fight next year.

The 23-year-old’s progress has been relatively slow to date given troubles with a recurring hand injury, but the signs are that he will be kept busy in the coming months.

A British title defence has already been pencilled in with John Ryder for September and then his focus is on a bout at world level.

Given that O’Sullivan is already ranked number four in the WBO middleweight ranks, Peter Quillin would seem the champion most obviously on the radar, who holds a 29-0 record at present following a maiden successful title defence against Fernando Guerrero of the Dominican Republic.

This is clearly the toughest challenge of O’Sullivan’s 16-fight unbeaten career to date and he could have his hands full defending his WBO international middleweight crown.

But, six of his 16 victories have come in the first round, so he does have the tools to end it quickly if being aggressive on the front foot.

It is 9/2 that O’Sullivan triumphs, 9/1 that he wins by KO and 125/1 that he emerges victorious in round one.

Punters smelling a shock outcome would arguably be best taking the 9/1, as O’Sullivan does possess KO power in both hands and is unlikely to get the better of the classier Saunders over 12 rounds.

Meanwhile, given that Saunders has gone the distance in three of his last four bouts, the 5/4 that he comes through on points again is not the worst price.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.