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Saunders: I’m willing to face Golovkin in September

Image: Saunders: I’m willing to face Golovkin in September

By Scott Gilfoid: Billy Joe Saunders says he’s willing to step in and replace Saul Canelo Alvarez for a fight against Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin, but it would have to be in September and not May 5th.

Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) says he still has a hand injury that he’s dealing with, and he also has a fight scheduled on June 23 against Martin Murray, so he can’t take the fight with GGG on May 5th. But if Golovkin doesn’t fight Canelo in September, then he says he’s be more than happy to face him there if he gives him a fair deal when it comes to the purse for the fight.

Canelo (49-1-2, 34 KOs) pulled out of his May 5th fight on Tuesday before the Nevada Athletic Commission could potentially suspend him. Canelo likely is facing a suspension, so today’s move him to pull out of the fight was largely a symbolic gesture.

“I’d happily fight Golovkin for a sensible day for both of us. He says he wants to unify,” Saunders said to BehindTheGloves. ”The Canelo fights not happening. I’m now ready. I’m standing here in front of him. If I get in the ring with him, I want to make sure I take his belts, and I want to make sure I’m 100 percent for that. I’m willing to do it. Let’s be fair. Let’s play on a fair playing field. I’m willing to fight Golovkin. I’m willing to take Canelo’s place. Let’s book it for September. Let’s fight. September, if he wants to put pen to paper. One hundred percent in September, let’s get it on,” Saunders said.

What Saunders doesn’t realize that by him not being willing to take a chance and take the fight with Golovkin on May 5th, he’s basically out of the picture for at least 1 year. Saunders should take the fight with Golovkin now. If Golovkin loses to Canelo, then Saunders can forget about getting a fight against him. Canelo won’t fight him.

Unfortunately for Saunders, he might not be the World Boxing Organization middleweight champion by this time next year. Saunders has a soft voluntary defense on June 23 against Martin Murray. After that, the WBO will likely allow Saunders one more soft defense against another easy mark. My guess is Saunders will fight someone like #10 WBO Tommy Langford for a sure thing victory. After that, Saunders will likely be ordered by the WBO to face either #1 WBO Demetrius Andrade or #2 WBO Daniel Jacobs. There’s a good chance Saunders will lose to either of those fighters.

“I think it’s a load of rubbish. He most definitely took those drugs,” Saunders said about Canelo and his positive test for clenbuterol. “He knew what he was taking. He was up against it against Golovkin. He wanted every bit that could help him win that fight, and it still didn’t secure him the win. I believe he cheated on purpose. I think he didn’t believe he would get caught, and was taking it the fight beforehand. He came in tremendous shape. The shape he came in the last fight, I knew it wasn’t all natural,” said Saunders.

We’ll likely never know for certain whether Canelo took the clenbuterol accidentally by eating contaminated meat or if he purposefully took it. Canelo tested negative for any PEDs before his first fight with Golovkin last September. As long as Canelo tests negatively during training camp before his likely rematch with GGG next September, then there’s nothing anyone can say. It’s doubtful hat VADA will test Canelo before he starts his training camp for his next fight. VADA usually tests in the 8 weeks before a fighter’s fight unless they sign up for year round testing. It’s unclear whether Canelo will face Golovkin in the rematch in Nevada if he’s suspended by the Nevada Commission. There are rumors that if Canelo is suspended by the Commission on April 18, then he’ll choose to fight his future fights in California, Texas or New York, but not in Nevada. Texas doesn’t have a state tax, so it’s a great option for Canelo if he decides never to fight in Nevada again. Washington State and Florida also don’t have state taxes.

“If I wasn’t 100 percent to fight Martin Murray on April 14th, then I’m not 100 percent o fight him in six or seven weeks,” Saunders said in why he can’t fight Golovkin on May 5. ”But if they gave me proper time and a proper camp where my hand is 100 percent, most definitely I would love to be next in line against Golovkin. I believe I’m the best middleweight in the world, and I want to prove it, because I have something that would untangle Golovkin. I know I’d take his belts. I’m a man of my word, and I told Martin Murray I would box him, so he’s looking to be next,” Saunders said.

It sounds like Saunders is willing to gamble that Golovkin will throw him a bone by fighting him in September. I think it’s very doubtful that he’ll get that fight against him unless Canelo receives a 1-year suspension by the Nevada Commission. That’s the only way Saunders faces Golovkin in September. Even if Golovkin did want to take that fight with Saunders in September, there’s no telling whether Billy Joe will be healthy or not. He’s had a lot of injury problems since he won the WBO middleweight title in 2015. Saunders was injured twice training in 2016, and now he’s hurt again. Moreover, Saunders talking about wanting a fair deal sounds like he might wind up pricing himself out for the GGG fight by asking for more than what he’s worth. Saunders needs to see the big picture as far as the Golovkin fight is concerned. He’s not going to beat him, so he might as well take the fight at least than 100 percent. If Saunders winds up losing to his next opponent after his June 23 fight against Murray, he’s going to regret not taking the fight with Golovkin on May 5.

“Daniel Jacobs, but he don’t want it. He’s happy with his loss against him,” Saunders said when asked who should step in to face Golovkin on May 5th. “Charlo is down with it. Andrade says he wants it maybe. I’d like to see Spike O’Sullivan get in there and have a bit of a dust up. I think it would be a good fight,” Saunders said.

Golovkin would get more attention from the boxing world if he fought Charlo, Andrade or Jacobs. But if Golovkin an easy fight that the U.S boxing fans are not interested in seeing, then O’Sullivan is a great option. If the idea is to turn the fans away and make sure they don’t purchase his May 5th fight on HBO PPV, then you have to say that O’Sullivan is the perfect opponent for that.

“I personally think he’ll be ready for September,” Saunders said about Canelo being ready for Golovkin rematch in September after his suspension expires.

Canelo will probably be ready for the rematch against Golovkin in September, even though he’ll have been out of the ring for one year at that time. Canelo has to take the fight at that time if he wants to strike while the iron is still hot.

“He’s never going to admit it,” Saunders said about Canelo. “I think the right thing should be done and he should be banned. If something happened to that person, then that should be murder. Golovkin, I’ve had suspicions about him a long while ago,” Saunders said.

If Canelo is innocent, then why should he confess? He might be telling the truth, so why does he have to confess? Canelo is already saying he ate contaminated meat. What else does he need to say?

“He’s willing to box him again, so what’s he worried for?” Saunders said when told that Golovkin wants Canelo to have his hair tested for clenbuterol and him take a lie detector test.

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