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Canelo on Saunders fight: ‘I will be first to annouce it when it’s official’

Image: Canelo on Saunders fight: 'I will be first to annouce it when it's official'

By Dan Ambrose: Canelo Alvarez’s fight against Billy Joe Saunders isn’t official for May 2 yet. According to Alvarez, he will be the one that makes the announcement. But as of now, Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs) is asking the media not to get “carried away” by the “close sources” that said it was a done deal between him and WBO super middleweight champion Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs).

Last Thursday night, the news was revealed on social media on WBA ‘regular’ 168-b champion Canelo facing Saunders in a unification fight on May 2 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. From there, the information spread quickly of the Canelo-Saunders fight, with many fans assuming it was a done deal, but apparently not.

Canelo tells media Saunders fight not official

It’s not that fans actually want to see Canelo face Saunders. Indeed, the U.S fans don’t care about this fight, but the Brits like it. Canelo is so popular in North Amerca that he fight a journeyman and it would make headlines.

That’s not a knock on Saunders because he’s a good fighter, but he’s not someone that American fans will get excited about. He’s another Rocky Fielding level guy basically and has about as much chance of beating Canelo as he did.

“The day that is official the first to announce will be ME, do not get carried away by “close sources,” said Canelo on his social media site on Thursday.

What’s interesting is that Golden Boy Promotions didn’t come out to deny the leak about the Canelo vs. Saunders fight being done for May 2. All Golden Boy had to do was let the boxing public know that the Canelo-Saunders fight wasn’t done, then fans would back off and wait until it is.

As this writer said, the U.S and aren’t interested in seeing Canelo take on Saunders on Cinco de Mayo n the 2nd of May. That’s a fight that he wants, not the fans.

It would make fans happy if Canelo went in another direction and chose Callum Smith, Jermall Charlo or Demetrius Andrade. That’s just a short list of fighters that boxing fans would prefer to see Canelo fight rather than Saunders. Canelo just wants to pick up a title and fight someone that DAZN will agree to.

Saunders with his unbeaten and world title, he checks a couple of boxes with DAZN. With that said, Saunders isn’t much of an improvement over Rocky Fielding, and he’s not popular enough to bring in a lot of subscribers to DAZN.

Pavlik picking Canelo to beat Saunders

“Canelo don’t get the credit he deserves,” said Kelly Pavlik to Fighthub. “It seems like in this day and age nobody is going to give him credit. Somebody is going to hop on the boxing sites and talk s—. That’s the way it is. Canelo, if you go back and look at his resume, the guys he’s fought, he deserves to get the credit.

“I think Billy Joe Saunders is a dangerous fight, but I’m still leaning [in the direction] for Canelo,” said Pavlik. “I think the style that Saunders fights is going to fight is going to play directly into Canelo, especially with the body attack and everything else Canelo does. It’s a big opportunity and a big fight, and I think Canelo wins that,” said Pavlik.

Saunders will move and jab, and he’s not going to stand and fight Canelo the way he did in his last contest Marcelo Esteban Coceres. Billy Joe cannot fight that way against Canelo and hope to win, because he doesn’t possess the power or the speed to fight that way.

Coceres was getting the better of Saunders with his speed. You can imagine what Canelo will do to Saunders with his speed, power and boxing skills. This fight will be a mismatch if Saunders doesn’t get on his bike from the earliest moments of the clash and fight defensively.

It’s a no-brainer to pick Canelo to defeat Saunders, especially after watching his last two fights against Coceres and Shefat Isufi. Saunders wasn’t a great fighter at 160, but now that he’s moved up to 168, he’s too weak and he’s not able to handle the power of his opponents. Coceres and Isufi were both battering Saunders and making him look bad. In both cases, Saunders was able to pull out the victory.

Pavlik: Saunders tries to fight like Sergio Martinez

“I think Billy Joe Saunders tries to fight like Sergio Martinez. It’s the same exact style. I don’t think he’s as good at it though. He looked a little sluggish in his last fight [against Marcelo Esteban Coceres]. If he fights like that against Canelo, I think it’ll be a fast night and quick fight,” said Pavlik on Saunders.

Most boxing fans would disagree with Pavlik in his comparison of Saunders to former two-division world champion Sergio Martinez. The light-hitting Saunders is nothing like what a prime Martinez, who had both power and skills.  (51-3, 28 KOs) was an excellent talent before he suffered a knee injury in his win over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in 2012.

If you want to compare Saunders with anyone, he’s more like Martin Murray in talent. He’s a good basic fighter, but one that has been matched carefully during his career. Saunders never had to fight the guys that Martinez did during his career. These are Saunders’ best career wins:

  • Andy Lee
  • Willie Monroe Jr.
  • Chris Eubank Jr.
  • Shefat Isufi
  • David Lemieux
  • John Ryder
  • Gary O’Sullivan
  • Nick Blackwell
  • Artur Akavov

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