Billy Joe Saunders made the day of one young boxing fan, Lee Walshe, with a lovely gesture following Lee's recent battle with illness.
Sportspeople have the ability to touch lives, to inspire, to reach out. They are looked up to, respected and admired. So when one of them uses that status to enhance the life of someone else in some way, no matter how small, it's nice to acknowledge it.
On Saturday night British boxer Billy Joe Saunders defended his WBO middleweight world title for the first time by defeating the Russian Artur Akavov at the Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley. Saunders won despite not being at his best after eleven months out of the ring.
Saunders has been called a "paper champion" for not stepping into the ring since he beat Ireland's Andy Lee in the Manchester Arena last December and said afterwards of a prospect of him fighting Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin:
I should be embarrassed to talk about facing Gennady Golovkin on that performance, there was nothing there, I felt flat.
But while he felt embarrassed about his performance, he should be mightily proud of his actions after the fight. He invited a young cancer survivor, Lee Walshe, into the ring. Lee, Saunders said, won his first boxing match the day before. Saunders said, "He's the champion", raising Lee's arm into the air in the manner of a referee with a boxer's after a victorious bout.
— BoxNation (@boxnationtv) December 4, 2016