Been bitten by the boxing bug after the recent Conor McGregor v Floyd Mayweather Jr fight? We don’t blame you. Luckily, you can satisfy your hunger for more in-ring action live on BT Sport this Saturday night when unbeaten British star Billy Joe Saunders defends his WBO world middleweight title against dangerous American Willie Monroe Jr at the Copper Box Arena in London.
The fleet-fisted Saunders has a dazzling record of 24 wins and zero defeats since turning professional in 2008, with 12 of those victories coming via knockout. The lad can punch, but this weekend he’ll have to overcome a tricky opponent in Monroe, a slippery New Yorker with an ace defensive game who’s racked up 21 wins from 23 bouts.
If you’re a newcomer to boxing but want to be brought right up to speed (and sound like an expert in front of your mates), then you’re in the right place. We’ve put together a blagger’s guide to let you feel like a proper aficionado when you’re watching Saturday night’s main event!
If you’re going to pass yourself off as a boxing buff, first you’ll need to talk the talk. Here are some phrases that should come in handy when you’re watching the fight…
Going the distance
When a bout lasts its scheduled duration, before the judges decide the winner based on what they’ve seen throughout the rounds.
On the ropes
When a fighter is literally up against the ropes of the ring while getting repeatedly hit by his/her opponent. This isn’t a situation they want to be in.
A punch that is thrown by a boxer immediately after they’ve been hit. It’s designed to catch their opponent off guard.
Saved by the bell
Picture the scene: you’ve just been knocked to the canvas and are struggling to get up. The referee is counting to ten, but before they can reach ten and end the bout, the bell rings to signal the end of the round. You’ve just been saved by the bell. (This is not to be confused with the late 80s teen sitcom.)
Throw in the towel
A member of a boxer’s coaching team may literally throw a white towel into the ring to concede that their fighter is unable to continue.
Have a chin
If a boxer has “a chin” or “a good chin”, it means they are adept at taking a lot of blows to the head without much visible damage.
A wild punch that’s characteristically made in desperation, but could also win a match due to its ferocity and unpredictability.
From the established names to the rising stars ready to make a splash, here’s a fistful of fighters you should be keeping an eye on…
1. Anthony Joshua
The big dog. After winning gold for Team GB at the London Olympics in 2012, Joshua is now world heavyweight champion following his victory over the legendary Wladimir Klitschko. With a couple of mandatory defences on the cards ahead of a possible unification bout with WBC champ Deontay Wilder, his career could be about to hit the stratosphere.
2. Nicola Adams
The world’s first female Olympic boxing champion, Yorkshire’s finest has won her first two professional bouts after achieving absolutely everything as an amateur (following up her London 2012 gold with another at Rio 2016). You wouldn’t bet against her landing a world title before too long.
3. Joe Joyce
At 6ft 6in and with arms like tree trunks, you wouldn’t think Joe Joyce had a degree in fine arts. Now that he’s turned pro – he signed a deal with former champ David Haye in the summer – you’ll be seeing a lot more of the Olympic silver medallist.
4. Katie Taylor
18 gold medals at amateur level should tell you Ireland’s Taylor is a supremely talented boxer. And with six wins out of six in her professional career so far, her star continues to rise rapidly. Fun fact: she also has 11 caps for the Republic of Ireland women’s football team.
5. Jason Quigley
With an undefeated record of 13 wins from 13 professional bouts, the Irish middleweight is destined to go far. And under the guidance of legend Oscar De La Hoya and his Golden Boy Promotions, his career looks to be in safe hands.
Looking for even more hard-hitting action on the box this week? Then you might want to check out these…
No Filter Boxing, Friday, 10pm, BT Sport 1/HD (CH 531/527)
Ahead of Saturday night’s big showdown in London, get closer to the fighters involved with this behind-the-scenes look at their preparations.
Live MMA: BAMMA World Title Fight, Friday, 9pm, Dave/HD (CH 127/194)
OK, so it’s not strictly boxing, but the modern sporting phenomenon of mixed martial arts features just as much thrilling pugilism. Wembley Arena is the venue as Britain’s Nathan Jones goes for the world welterweight title against French fighter Alex Lohore.
Live boxing: Canelo v Golovkin, Saturday night/Sunday morning, 1am, BoxNation Box Office
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin are currently two of boxing’s biggest superstars. And this weekend it’s “The Best vs The Best”, as they’ll be going head to head in Las Vegas for a properly mouth-watering clash that’s live on BoxNation Box Office. With four middleweight titles on the line, plus Nicola Adams making her American debut against Alexandra Vlajk, this is one night that’s not to be missed. If you have TiVo® or a Virgin TV V6 box powered by TiVo® you can purchase the fight in high definition for £16.95.
How to order
Go to Home > On Demand > Live Events. To view your booking, once purchased, go to On Demand > Live Events.
Watch on the go
Virgin TV customers with BT Sport can watch the Saunders v Monroe Jr fight on the go with the TV Anywhere app. Just download it from the App Store or Google Play and log in to the app to start watching.