Saunders believes he’ll hold all 4 middleweight titles by end of 2018
By Tim Royner: WBO welterweight champion Billy Joe Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) says he’s hoping IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) defeats Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) in their rematch on May 5th, because he then will face the Kazakhstan fighter and beat him to win all 4 of the titles for the 160 lb. weight class by the end of 2018.
Saunders seems to know that if Canelo beats Golovkin in their rematch, then he won’t want to fight him. Saunders believes that ONLY Golovkin will be interested in fighting him, and he’s probably right. Golovkin is the one that is interested in collecting all 4 of the middleweight titles. Canelo has no great ambitions to win all of the 160 lb. belts. That’s hard work, and besides, it would require that Canelo fight a lot of tough guys that could potentially beat him like Jermall Charlo, Daniel Jacobs, Demetrius Andrade and Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
”I should be beating the likes of Willie Monroe. I should be dealing with David Lemieux because I know what I’m on a quest to do, I know what my mission is,” Saunders said to IFL TV. ”If I can’t be dealing with them, then in my own head this mission’s a big fairy tale. I know what I’m going to do. I want the winner of Golovkin and Canelo. Please God Golovkin wins – rightly so because he did last time – and I will hold all the titles. Every single one of them by the end of this year,” Saunders said.
Saunders, 28, is probably going to need to wait until Canelo and Golovkin get done fighting each for a third time before he can get a chance of fighting one of the two. They’re expected to fight each other 3 times. If Canelo beats Golovkin on May 5th, he’s going to give him a rematch next September, because they can make more money fighting each other right now than facing anyone else. Canelo wants to be seen fighting the best fighter in the 160 lb. weight class. It makes Canelo look better fighting Golovkin than facing one of the many top contenders at middleweight.
Losing to Golovkin is much less of a bad thing for Canelo than getting beaten by Jacobs, Charlo, Andrade or Derevyanchenko. If Canelo loses to one of those guys, it would mean that he would need to re-think the idea of him continuing to campaign as a middleweight. In contrast, lost to Golovkin isn’t a bad thing at all for Canelo, because he’s losing to the best fighter in the weight class. The only way there isn’t a third Canelo-Golovkin fight is if GGG knocks Canelo out badly. Under those circumstances, I think Golden Boy Promotions will take Caneo in another direction towards a softer opponent in order to save their fighter from yet another knockout. If Golovkin is knocked out, he’ll definitely want to fight Canelo again in a third fight. Golovkin is not afraid, and he’ll insist on fighting him again.
Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn wants to match former IBF middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs against Saunders in the near future. Since it’s unlikely Saunders is going to be getting a fight against Canelo or Golovkin in 2018 due to them potentially facing each other in a third fight in September, Jacobs could be someone that could be in the future for the WBO champion.
“Yeah he’s good but one million percent I’m better,” Saunders said of Jacobs. “If they can make it financially work, viable for both of us, then I’m sure that me and him haven’t got a problem fighting each other.”
It’s still unlikely that Jacobs will get a fight against Saunders without being his WBO mandatory challenger. Saunders recently ruled out a fight against Jacobs unless he was offered $6 million for the fight. That’s not going to happen.
Saunders believes he’ll beat Golovkin. That’s a pretty bold prediction on Saunders’ part. He hasn’t shown the kind of talent in any of his fights that would suggest that he’ll beat GGG. Saunders’ recent 12 round unanimous decision win over former IBF 160 lb. champion David Lemieux on December 16th seems to have planted some ideas into his head to make him think that he can beat Golovkin. Lemieux fought a really dumb right against Saunders. Lemieux looked like he was too heavy after he rehydrated. He was slow, and he looked like he had put too much water weight back on after he rehydrated. Lemieux was a lot leaner looking in his knockout win over Curtis Stevens in March 2017.
Saunders’ win over David Lemieux last December was a big boost for his career. However, Saunders could have knocked the 28-year-old Lemieux out if he’s pressed him instead of just coasting. It looked like Saunders was satisfied with just going to minimal needed for him to get the win. That was a missed opportunity for Saunders. He made it boring in the last 4 rounds when he could have put an exclamation point on his victory by knocking out Lemieux.
Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy were less than impressed with Saunders’ victory over Lemieux. Golden Boy president Eric Gomez said he saw a lot of running from Saunders. The way Gomez was taking about Saunders, it seemed obvious that he’s not going to let Canelo get anywhere near him.
Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) keep his eye on his next opponent Martin Murray (36-4-1, 17 KOs), because he could lose to him if he’s not focused properly. Saunders will be defending his WBO title against #10 WBO Murray on April 14th at the O2 Arena in London, England. This is another voluntary defense for Saunders, his 3rd since winning the WBO middleweight title in December 2015. Saunders has only defended his WBO title against one mandatory since capturing the belt 2 years ago. if the World Boxing Organization wants to make Saunders work hard for the winner of the Canelo vs. Golovkin fight, they’ll order him to face Daniel Jacobs. Now that would be a nightmare for Saunders. He had it easy recently when the WBO ordered him to face David Lemieux. It would be a different story if they make him fight Jacobs.