Saunders says he won’t fight Golovkin in U.S
By Dan Ambrose: WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders (23-0, 12 KOs) has changed his tune about what he wants before he’ll agree to a unification fight against IBF/IBO/WBA middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (34-0, 31 KOs).
Saunders was saying he would take the fight if he received a big enough offer to accept it from Golovkin’s promoters at K2 Promotions. Saunders is now saying that he’s not going to come to the United States to face Golovkin, period.
Saunders wants Golovkin to come to the UK to fight him. Saunders had been saying that he would accept less money for a fight against Golovkin if he would come to the UK to fight. Saunders wants Golovkin to come to the UK.
Golovkin has been fighting outside of the U.S off and on for the last five years, and he probably wouldn’t have an issue with traveling to the UK to fight Saunders in front of his own British fans. The only thing that might potentially get in the way of the fight being staged in England would be if HBO says no to the idea.
They have a contract with Golovkin to televise his fights, and if they decide they don’t want to travel to the UK to televise the fight for whatever reason, then it would make it an undoable situation for Golovkin.
Fighting in front of a pro-Saunders crowd isn’t something that Golovkin would need to worry too much about because he wouldn’t be stressed out too much in fighting in a hostile arena. Even the prospect of fighting in front of foreign judges that might be influenced by the crowd noise volume wouldn’t likely hinder Golovkin from his task at hand against Saunders.
Golovkin would go after Saunders and look to KO him long before the fight had a chance to reach the 12th round. Saunders isn’t much of a runner, so he would have to deal with Golovkin’s big power shots and hope that he can land a counter punch hard enough to hurt him like he did in his last fight against Andy Lee last month.
Lee got nailed after missing one of his power shots and wasn’t expecting Saunders to counter him with a short right hand to the head. Golovkin doesn’t miss a lot of punches, but even if he did, he would be expecting punches to be thrown by Saunders in close. Golovkin is a better inside fighter than Saunders, and he would definitely look to stay on the inside and pound him with body shots for as long as he could.
It's nice being the champ 👉😎 pic.twitter.com/EIqwXH2pD0
— billyjoesaunders (@bjsaunders_) January 8, 2016
Saunders, 26, thinks he can beat Golovkin, which is a good thing. It’s always nice for a fighter to have confidence working for them. However, Saunders would gladly take a fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez or Miguel Cotto if it were offered to him by one of those guys. Since neither of those fighters are interested in wanting to beat Saunders to pick up his WBO paper title, Golovkin is the best option Saunders has for a nice payday.
The money that he would receive in rematches against Andy Lee and Chris Eubank Jr. aren’t as much as the money he can make against Golovkin. The thing about Saunders facing Golovkin is that it’s a fight that could potentially be on pay-per-view in the UK. You can’t say the same thing for a Saunders for Lee or Eubank Jr. fight.
The negotiations for the Saunders vs. Golovkin fight can’t drag out too much longer, because both fighters need to get a fight scheduled so that they can get back inside the ring in the next two to three months. Saunders’ promoter talked recently of wanting to get him back inside the ring by March or April ideally. Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler wants him to fight on April 23.
They’ve got to find out soon if they can get the Saunders match, because if not then they need to schedule a bout against Golovkin’s #1 IBF mandatory challenger Tureano Johnson for April. Tureano is a much different type of opponent to train for than a crafty fighter like Saunders. Tureano is the type that comes forward looking to exchange shots.
Whether Golovkin does ultimately decide to take the fight with Saunders in the UK or not will very likely come down to what HBO will allow. If they give Golovkin the green light to fight Saunders in the UK, then I think the fight will be doable. Saunders, of course, can always decide on moving the goal posts back by coming up with another hoop that Golovkin has to jump through in order to get the fight.