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Saunders tells Golovkin he might give him a street fight

Billy Joe Saunders Gennady Golovkin

By Scott Gilfoid: WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders says he might play some mind games with unbeaten Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin if they wind up facing each other soon. Saunders says he could give him a street fight.

(Photo credit: World Boxing Council)

Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) was in a happy mood this week during his homecoming press conference in London, England to discuss the direction he plans on taking his career now that he’s beaten former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux last Saturday night. Saunders, 28, made it clear that he wants a fight with Golovkin and Saul Canelo Alvarez. He fancies his chances against both.

“When you play little mind games with people, even small ones, they can be beneficial, very,” said Saunders when asked if he’ll play mind games with Golovkin. “So, maybe so against Golovkin; if I box Golovkin, I might punch with him, a street fight as he says,” said Saunders.

Saunders had little problems beating Lemieux, but that was a little brawler with few boxing skills. Lemieux was there to be beaten by Saunders or any top level fighter in the middleweight division. The victory for Saunders seems to have taken his self-confidence to another level. For a well-grounded fighter, they don’t make a big deal out of beating a vulnerable guy. In Saunders’ case, his confidence has gone stratospheric. The way he’s talking now, he probably believes he’ll beat Anthony Joshua.

It’s too bad Saunders can’t put the win over Lemieux in perspective. It was only 2 fights ago that Saunders was arguably beaten by Artur Akavov in December 2016. Saunders was given the win over Akavov, but he appeared to lose. Akavov was a lot better fighter than Lemieux. The southpaw Akavov cut the ring off on Saunders, and forced him to fight, which he couldn’t handle. Lemieux did a lousy job of cutting off the ring last Saturday, and he was too slow and thick around the midsection. Lemieux looked like he overhydrated for the fight. I don’t think Lemieux belongs at middleweight any longer.

Saunders might get the fight he wants against Golovkin if he beats Canelo in their proposed rematch in May. Golovkin will want to go after the WBO title, and that’ll enable Saunders to get a fight against him. I still have doubts though that Golovkin-Saunders will get made. With Saunders’ ego, he might price himself out of the GGG fight by asking for too much. Saunders says he wants 5 million pounds to fight Danny Jacobs. That comes out to $6.7 million in U.S money. If Saunders is asking for that kind of cash for a fight against Jacobs, you can just imagine what he’ll be asking for to fight Golovkin. What Saunders doesn’t realize is Golovkin is not a PPV fighter in the States, and fight against him won’t interest the U.S boxing fans any more than if Golovkin were facing the likes of Martin Murray or Grzegorz Proksa. The casual boxing fans in the U.S are not going to be familiar with Saunders, so the fight won’t be a PPV match. It’ll just be a regular fight on HBO.

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