On the KSI vs. Logan Paul 2 undercard, WBO super-middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) wanted to impress a new American audience in his title defense vs. Argentina’s Marcelo Esteban Coceres (28-1-1, 15 KOs).
For about 30 minutes, Saunders was unimpressive and Coceres was legitimately competitive despite being a monstrous underdog who was completely unproven at the top-level. The crowd at Staples Center was booing at times as Saunders’ effective early start gave way to Coceres landing the cleaner punches on the inside, while Saunders struggled to get his offense going.
Then Round 11 happened.
Saunders uncorked a left hand, right hook, and left hand combo that floored Coceres in a major turn of events. In search of the finish, Saunders walloped Coceres with an uppercut from the depths of hell. Coceres got up once more, but Saunders kept pouring on the punishment until he fell for a third time, prompting a stoppage.
Official result: Billy Joe Saunders def. Marcelo Esteban Coceres by TKO at 1:59 of round 11, defends WBO super-middleweight title
Saunders had an impressive end to a lackluster performance, and he acknowledged it wasn’t the type of fight that would yield him a big money showdown with Canelo Alvarez. At the very least, a non-puncher like Billy Joe just put something on a highlight reel.