Billy Joe Saunders signs with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom
By Charles Brun: Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has signed WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders to a contract, according to Dan Rafael. Hearn will be holding a news conference this Tuesday to announce the signing of the southpaw Saunders.
Former WBO 160 pound champion Saunders recently left his long time British promoter Frank Warren. It’s believed that Saunders is hoping that signing with Hearn will open the doors for bigger matches against the likes of Callum Smith, Chris Eubank Jr. and Caleb Plant.
That’s about as good as it gets for Saunders. He’s not shown interest in fighting David Benavidez, and he’s not talked of wanting to fight any of the light heavyweights like Artur Beterbiev, Dmitry Bivol, Sergey Kovalev or Oleksandr Gvozdyk.
Saunders unlikely to ever fight Canelo or Golovkin
This is considered a big signing for Hearn, as the 29-year-old Saunders (28-0, 13 KOs) has a big following in the UK. He’s not well known in the U.S though,, and that should keep him from getting fights against superstars like Saul Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. Hearn is obviously hoping that he can match Saunders against those two fighters, but it’s unlikely to ever happen. Saunders’ fighting style is too negative, and he’s much of an unknown for it to be worth anything for GGG or Canelo to fight him.
Another strike that Saunders has going against him in getting those fighters to face him is he tries to make his opponents look bad by showboating, and playing to the crowd after he makes them miss with shots. The showboating from Saunders makes him an unappealing option for Canelo and Golovkin, because even if they beat him, they’ll look bad at times in missing shots. Saunders will make sure he taunts them each time they miss, and try and win over the ground.
Saunders’s best hope of getting American fighters to fight him is to face one of these guys:
- Demetrius Andrade
- Peter Quillin
- Caleb Plant
- Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez
- Jesse Hart
- Marcus Browne
- Joe Smith Jr.
- Badou Jack
Unfortunately for Saunders, he’s going to need to pool from the 160 and 175 pound divisions for him to fight appealing options for him to fight. A fight between Saunders and Callum Smith won’t resonate in the U.S. That’s basically a domestic level contest in the UK. Even though Callum is a good fighter, he’s completely unknown with the American boxing fans, as is Saunders as well. DAZN won’t bring in many subscribers in the U.S if Hearn puts the Saunders vs. Callum fight together.
Saunders’ lack of popularity = low subscriptions for DAZN
Some of the hardcore boxing fans in the U.S might have interest in a fight between those two, but not the far more important casual boxing fans. Those are the guys that DAZN needs to be on board for match-ups in order to gain new subscriptions. If Saunders wasn’t such a weak puncher, and spoiler, fights against Canelo and Golovkin would be possible. Unfortunately, Saunders has always had an ugly spoiling fighting style, and he has zero punching power to speak of. On top of all those negatives, Saunders makes it worse for himself with his showboating fighting style.