Billy Joe Saunders vs Marcelo Esteban Coceres result report who won watch KO

Billy Joe Saunders wants Canelo next but said there was "something missing" in Marcelo Esteban Coceres KO win

Published On Sunday, November 10, 2019By Tim Rickson

Billy Joe Saunders unhappy with his performance against Marcelo Esteban Coceres

BJS felt flat in his maiden title defence in LA
KSI decisions Logan Paul in main event

Two-weight world champion Billy Joe Saunders (29-0) says he wants to fight Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez next but admitted there was "something missing" as he laboured to an 11th round knockout win over WBO #10 Marcelo Esteban Coceres (28-0-1) in Los Angeles.

Hatfield's Saunders, 30, floored Argentina's Coceres three times in the penultimate round of his maiden WBO world super-middleweight title defence, prompting a stoppage win, his 14th KO victory of his 10-year career.

Two judges had it scored a narrow 96-94 to the champion after the 10th round but third judge Robin Taylor saw it 96-94 to the challenger.

The Briton, on his US debut, conceded that "It wasn't a world class performance".

"Canelo may look at that and think now is the time to get me," said Saunders.

"I knocked him out when I knew I had to. I thought 'you have to stop him' and I stopped him.

"I knew I had to dig very deep. I am not one to make excuses. I came over here five days out, nine hours' time difference, I haven't slept right for five days.

"Tonight wasn't a world-class performance, it was a world class finish but not a world class performance. That shows you what sort of a fighter I am.

"When someone is talking about Canelo and you are fighting an Argentinian, you don't look past him but one eye is off. I have to look at the performance. I was trying to get my feet working, it was like I was dipped in glue. There was something missing, maybe it was the travel, I don't know."

Saunders' win arrived on the undercard of KSI's victory over YouTube rival Logan Paul, while elsewhere on the card American lightweight Devin Haney defended his WBC world title with a points win over Alfredo Santiago.

A solid left hook and right uppercut in the 11th round from Saunders floored his rival and helped secure a 29th win from as many contests as Coceres fell to defeat for the first time in a 30-fight career.

Promoter Eddie Hearn said he felt Saunders was at risk of defeat had he not found the knockout, adding: "He showed a lot of heart to come back from that as his tank was empty, he was flat."

Saunders defended his world title in the 168lb super-middleweight division for the first time and now hopes to secure a shot at Mexico's Alvarez, who holds versions of a world title at middleweight, super-middleweight and light-heavyweight.

"Canelo Alvarez is the one I want next," added Saunders. "I can fluctuate at middleweight and super-middleweight. The bigger fights are at super-middleweight. All the super-middleweights will look at that performance and think 'we haven't got a lot to worry about there so let's get him in the ring'."

Elsewhere on Saturday, Bulgaria's Kubrat Pulev fought for the first time since being suspended by the California State Athletic Commission for "forcefully" kissing a female reporter on the lips.

The 38-year-old landed a unanimous points win over American Rydell Booker and maintained his position as the IBF's number-one challenger for the winner of champion Andy Ruiz Jr's rematch with Anthony Joshua.