KSI vs Logan Paul 2: Billy Joe Saunders retains WBO title by KO
By Peter Gilbert
Last Updated: 10/11/19 6:59pm
Billy Joe Saunders knocked out gritty Marcelo Coceres to successfully defend his WBO super-middleweight title.
Saunders dropped Coceres three times in the 11th round to force a stoppage in a tough American debut at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The two-weight champion started on the front foot in the opener, flicking out his southpaw jab and connected with an uppercut, but Coceres enjoyed success with his counters and grew in confidence in the second.
Coceres targeted the body in the third and landed a big right to leave the champion with a slight mark under his eye.
Saunders received a ticking-off from the referee in the fourth for a stray low blow and for punching on a break, while Coceres again enjoyed success with his right hand to shade the round.
The Hatfield fighter replied in the fifth with his jab before landing a right hook but 'El Terrible' continued to connect with right-hand counters before being caught with a heavy blow.
Coceres backed up Saunders in the sixth, unleashed a flurry of blows and finished the round by landing further right hands.
The 28-year-old challenger kept marching forward in the seventh, jumping in and out of range before landing one-twos, but Saunders replied with his own combinations and targeted the body.
Both fighters were showing signs of damage around the eyes by the eighth and Saunders stepped up the pace, pumping out his jab and landing a heavy left.
Coceres continued to find the target with his right-hand counters in the ninth and connected in the 10th with an uppercut before finishing the round with his arm raised in celebration.
But Saunders sent Coceres to the canvas in the penultimate round with a heavy hook, floored him for a second time with a superb uppercut and after dropping him for a third and final time the referee waved off the fight.