sport

Saunders clinches Euro crown

Billy Joe Saunders won the vacant European middleweight title after stopping Emanuele Blandamura in the eighth round at the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester.

The 24-year-old improved his record to 20-0 with 11 knockouts after catching Blandamura with a brilliant right hand which prompted the Italian's corner to throw in the towel.

Blandamura, who was also unbeaten going into the contest, had until that point been holding his own against the British and Commonwealth champion.

Saunders even looked to be tiring slightly as the fight headed through the middle rounds but found the perfect shot to end any fears of an upset.

The European title fight was elevated to the main event in Manchester after Dereck Chisora pulled out of his grudge match with Tyson Fury, who subsequently withdrew from a rescheduled contest against Alexander Ustinov.

After the bout Saunders was quick to call out fellow unbeaten British middleweight Chris Eubank Jr, who had earlier demolished Croatia's Ivan Jukic in the first round.

Also on the card, Liam Smith successfully defended his British light-middleweight title with a sixth-round stoppage of Jason Welborn.

Terry Flanagan won the vacant British lightweight title when Martin Gethin, whose eye was badly cut and swollen, failed to emerge for the eighth round of their clash.