Billy Joe Saunders made his Olympic debut at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. He was the youngest member of the Great Britain boxing team in Beijing, aged 18.
He had won 29 out of 29 senior level bouts before losing semi final to Olexandr Stretskyy (UKR) 15-13 on pts. He beat home favourite Evgenie Borisov 29-19 to win Strandja tournament in Bulgaria in February 2008, gaining the boxer of the tournament award.
Qualified for Beijing with bronze at the first European Olympic qualifying tournament, beating Pavol Hlavacka (SVK) 20-10 on points in the Olympic Games qualification box-off.
Coming from a travellers site, his Grandfather used to bare knuckle box & never lost a contest, his father Tom is a former amateur boxer & older brother Tom Junior has joined the professional ranks. Saunders began boxing aged 7 at Cheshunt Amateur Boxing Club.