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Billy Joe Saunders: ‘Any dance partners? Need one ASAP’

Image: Billy Joe Saunders: 'Any dance partners? Need one ASAP'

By Charles Brun: In a sign that he WON’T be getting the Canelo Alvarez fight on May 2, Billy Joe Saunders has posted on Twitter asking if there’s “DANCE partners” for his next fight. The fighter that is expected to get the Canelo fight is Callum Smith. Gareth A. Davies states that his sources are saying Canelo vs. Callum Smith has been agreed for May 2.

The post by the unbeaten Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) suggests a sense of desperation on his part, as he clearly wouldn’t be asking this question if he’d been selected by Golden Boy Promotions as Canelo’s next opponent for the 2nd of May.

Canelo Alvarez to be fighting Callum Smith next?

“Sill over here in the USA. Very good sources indicate that @canelo vs @CallumSmith23 has been agreed [upon]. Mexico vs UK, May 2, Las Vegas,” said UK boxing writer Gareth A. Davies.

Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez gave a clear indication of who Canelo’s next opponent will be on Tuesday when he told Fino Boxing that the Mexican star will be facing a “DANGEROUS” fighter, who is known.

Gomez added that the fans will be “SURPRISED.” Unfortunately, the light-hitting Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) doesn’t fit the description of a fighter that is “dangerous”, and fans won’t be at all “surprised” if he’s the one that is selected for Canelo Alvarez to fight on May 2.

Indeed, the boxing public, at least in the U.S, would be angered and/or disappointed if Billy Joe is picked for the fight. It’s not that the fans in the United States don’t rate Saunders as a good fighter.

They do believe Saunders is highly skilled, and one of the most talented fighters at 168. What the U.S fans don’t like about Saunders is he’s a pure boxer, who uses a lot of movement, and trickery to defeat his opponents. In other words, Saunders is a pure spoiler, and American fans don’t like watching spoiling, especially when they’re paying a monthly fee to watch boxing on DAZN. U.S fans want to get their money’s worth, and they dislike watching runners.

Deal not done for Canelo’s next fight

“We don’t have a done deal yet. You can’t make an announcement on something because it could blow-up,” said Eric Gomez of Golden Boy to Ring TV on Canelo Alvarez’s next fight on May 2. “We’re close to making an announcement, and we’re just finalizing some final details.”

Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) successfully defended his WBO super middleweight title last November in stopping challenger Marcelo Esteban Coceres in the 11th round. In that fight, Saunders chose not to use his normal movement, and instead, he stood slugged it out in the center ring. It looked like a contrived move on Saunders’ part to slug with Coceres, since the fight took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

With Saunders being considered as a potential opponent for Canelo at the time, it made perfect sense for Billy Joe to abandon his normal safety-first style of fighting, and instead slug with the little known Coceres. That move almost back-fired on Saunders, being that he wasn’t as good of a slugger as Coceres, and he was getting worked over in the first 10 rounds.

Going into the 11th, Saunders was trailing on two of the judges’ scorecards, and he needed to do something to pull out the victory. Billy Joe then stepped on the gas and dropped Coceres three times in the 11th to get the knockout.

Nevertheless, Saunders’ efforts at making his fighting style more exciting likely are what contributed to him not getting the big fight against Canelo. After that dreadful performance by Saunders, there’s no way that Canelo could pick him for his May 2 fight without being dumped on by U.S boxing fans.

Hearn needs to find an opponent for Saunders

Now that Saunders is likely no longer in the running for the Canelo fight, he’s in need of an opponent in a bad way for his next fight. Saunders’ promoter Eddie Hearn said recently that if Callum Smith gets the fight against Canelo, he would look to match Billy Joe against the likes of Demetrius Andrade or Danny Jacobs. With the Canelo fight off the table for Saunders, now is Hearn’s chance to match him against Andrade or Jacobs. Unfortunately, both of those guys would likely beat Saunders, which is why it’s doubtful that Hearn will let either of them near him.

Saunders vs. Callum Smith would be a big fight in late 2020

There’s STILL a lot of money to be made in a Callum Smith vs. Saunders fight in 2020. It doesn’t matter if Callum is coming off of a loss to Canelo Alvarez at the time that he faces Saunders. The interest from UK boxing fans in a Callum-Saunders fight will remain high. For that reason, you can expect Hearn to feed Saunders another unknown fighter to defend his WBO 168-lb title while they wait for the smoke to clear from the Canelo vs. Smith fight.


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