Stylish Saunders’ quick finish

CANNING TOWN-BASED former amateur star Billy Joe Saunders launched his pro career in style at Birmingham s National Indoor Arena, on Saturday night when three Olympic boxers all recorded wins on their professional debuts. Saunders, trained by Jimmy Tibbs

CANNING TOWN-BASED former amateur star Billy Joe Saunders launched his pro career in style at Birmingham's National Indoor Arena, on Saturday night when three Olympic boxers all recorded wins on their professional debuts.

Saunders, trained by Jimmy Tibbs at Canning Town's Peacock Gym, needed less than five minutes to dispose of opponent Atilla Molnar.

The former Hungarian light-welterweight champion was no match for Saunders, who rained down a stream of accurate punches on his opponent, who threw little back in return.

After watching a round and a half of one-sided action, referee John Keane decided he'd seen enough.


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The stoppage, which came with Molnar still on his feet but offering no real argument against the intervention, came after one minute 40 seconds of the second round on the Frank Warren promotion.

The bright prospect, who went to the 2008 Olympics at the age of 18, certainly justified the optimism of new trainer Tibbs, who insists Saunders has the ability to make an outstanding pro champion.

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Birmingham boxer Frankie Gavin, 23, became the first man to stop George Kadaria, getting the job done in the fourth, dominating every round, and impressing with body shots.

However, Olympic gold medallist James DeGale had to settle for a four-round points win, doing pretty much as he wanted against opponent Vepkhia Tcilaia.

Referee Howard Foster had it 40-36 to DeGale, who is based at the Loughton gym of another local trainer in Jim McDonnell.

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