Saunders: I’ll fight Golovkin
By Scott Gilfoid: WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders (23-0, 12 KOs) says he’ll gladly give IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs) the fight he wants if he’s paid rightly, and if he has a say so on the venue for the fight. Saunders, 26, says he would even come to the United States to fight Golovkin if he’s paid well enough.
Saunders says he was contacted by Golovkin’s management after he won the WBO title last December in beating champion Andy Lee. However, Saunders says all he was offered for the Golovkin fight was $1 million to 1.5 million. Saunders didn’t see that as a lot of money for a unification fight against a popular fighter like Golovkin.
It’s likely going to take considerably more money from Team Golovkin to get Saunders to sign for the fight because they’ve got to make it worthwhile for him to want to agree to it.
Saunders doesn’t believe that middleweight contender Chris Eubank Jr. is serious about wanting to fight Golovkin. Eubank Jr. said this week that he’d be interested in facing Golovkin in September. His father Chris Eubank Sr. believes that Eubank Jr. can beat Golovkin. Saunders doesn’t believe Eubank Jr. will even take the fight with Golovkin. Saunders says that Eubank Jr. wouldn’t fight him or Daniel Jacobs, so he doesn’t believe for a second that he’ll fight Golovkin.
“It’s all [expletive]. If they’re not going to fight me, Daniel Jacobs, then they’re not going to fight Golovkin,” said Saunders to IFL TV about Eubank Jr. not being serious about wanting to fight Golovkin. “His dad knows what level he’s at. I want to go against the Alvarez’s, Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs; all the big names. I’m a world champion. I want to see how good I am,” said Saunders.
I think Eubank Jr. will fight Golovkin eventually. I just don’t think it’s going to be in 2016, and probably not in 2017 either. What is working against the fight ever happening is that Eubank Jr. will very likely face Saunders or Jacobs, and once that happens, I see him losing to both. Golovkin isn’t going to waste his time fighting Eubank Jr. unless he’s winning his fights and looking good.
Golovkin isn’t going to bother fighting Saunders now with him fighting the likes of Tom Doran and Nick Blackwell. Eubank Jr. is going to need to step it up a level in terms of his opposition if he wants to fight Golovkin. How is Golovkin going to take a fight against a British champion like Eubank Jr. Eubank Jr. needs to let go of that strap and focus on fighting the big boys instead of record-padding opposition.
In speaking about Canelo vacating his WBC belt this week, Saunders said “He should be ashamed to go out in public. I couldn’t show my face in public. Never in my life would I vacate a title. To vacate and show another many you ain’t got no heart to face him, I couldn’t sleep at night. Never ever would I run from someone, even if it was business. I’d school him [Canelo]. I know I would. Slow feet coming. I love that. Styles make fights. I love that style. I’d love to give him a shot at my title. He’s a coward. It only shows what kind of heart he’s got. If I fought Golovkin, I’d show him no respect at all. I don’t give a [expletive] about Golovkin. Yes, he’s a good fighter. Yes, he’s the best fighter on the planet. But do I give a [expletive]? No. I’ll fight anybody. I will fight Golovkin. Never in my life have I said I won’t fight Golovkin. If that fight gets made, would I go in believing I would get beat? Absolutely not. The only big name Golden Boy has got is Alvarez. You got the WBC title and then you vacated. The whole team works for Alvarez. Alvarez has got the final decision, not them. They can say what they think. Me and Golovkin fight. No talks were ever in a proper negotiation. No terms and conditions were set. They contracted Frank Warren after I won the belt and said, ‘Would you like to fight Golovkin?’ I told Frank, ‘Yes, I will fight him.’ If he’s asked to fight me, I will fight him. People were going on about four million pounds [being offered by Golovkin’s management]. No. One million dollars. One million and a half dollars. Something stupid. No money at all for that sort of fight, a unification. Will I fight Golovkin? Yes, I’d love to fight Golovkin for all the belts. I’d love to. I got the only belt he ain’t got and I’m willing. I told Frank, I’m willing to go to America if they rightly pay me, and I have a couple of says on the venue, and then let’s go fight. America or wherever makes the most money, let’s fight. Let’s see who the best man is. Let’s see how good I am. Am I as good as that? I don’t know. We’ll soon see,” said Saunders.
I don’t think a fight between Golovkin and Saunders will take place unless it happens soon. Saunders is clearly a six-round fighter at best. He’s vulnerable against almost anyone he faces in the middleweight division. Andy Lee would have beaten him last December if he had a better chin and didn’t get knocked down twice in the early rounds.
Eubank Jr. almost beat Saunders when he gassed out in the second half of their fight in 2014. If I’m Saunders, I’d be looking to take the fight against Golovkin as soon as possible so that I could cash out, because I would know that I would get beaten as soon as a fight a decent middleweight with good stamina.
Golovkin is still waiting to find out if he can get the fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez for September. If he can’t get that fight, then I see him and his promoters at K2 Promotions making a strong play to setup the Saunders fight for later this year if he hasn’t already booked another fight.
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