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Canelo vs. BJ Saunders not likely to happen

Billy Joe Saunders Canelo Alvarez

By Sean Jones: Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders fight is looking like it’s not going to happen, and the promoters for the two fighters will need to start thinking about alternative plans for 2020.


The coronavirus has gotten in the way of the Canelo-Saunders fight from being announced for May 2 and rumored backup plan of staging it in June in Las Vegas has only a slim chance of playing out. June is viewed by some as the last possible month that Canelo can fight Saunders this year without jeopardizing the much bigger fight against Gennadiy Golovkin in September.

It won’t be the end of the world for Saunders if he doesn’t get the fight with Canelo in 2020. It’s clear that Canelo wants to fight him of all people for some reason. So if that fight can’t get made in 2020, Alvarez can reschedule it in 2021.

What’s important for Canelo, DAZN and boxing fans is that the biggest fight possible is made in 2020. If the sport doesn’t restart until November or December, it would be disappointing for fans to see Canelo fighting Saunders.

Billy Joe Saunders Canelo Alvarez

Canelo vs. Golovkin = bigger fight for DAZN

That’s the fight that will bring in the subscribers to DAZN, and it’s one that is well worth the big money that the streaming giant is paying Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs). It’s fair to say that Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) is more of a throwaway fight for Canelo. It’s not one that is the U.S or even the UK is motivated to see. Canelo picked Saunders, and the result is fans are not sounding eager to see it.

For the Canelo vs. Saunders fight to take place in June, there will probably need to be a huge breakthrough with a vaccine being produced to fight the coronavirus so that it’s safe for people to attend large sporting events like boxing matches.

The other way for the Canelo-Saunders fight to take place in June is if Golden Boy Promotions and Matchroom, the promoters for the event, agree to stage the fight behind closed doors. Eddie Hearn hasn’t sounded optimistic in talking about staging his fight cards behind closed doors.

Staging Canelo vs. Saunders behind closed doors

There are a lot of things that need to be worked out before fights can be staged without crowds. Right now, those things aren’t in place for that to happen. The promoters are still in the stage where they’re hoping that the coronavirus will disappear. If that fails to happen by June, Canelo’s fight with Saunders will either need to be canceled or postponed. In postponing it further, that will mess up the trilogy fight between Canelo and Golovkin on September 12.

If Canelo ambivalent about fighting GGG again, then he’ll likely choose to postpone the Saunders fight until later this year. That would mean no Golovkin fight. That’s a lose-lose for DAZN and the boxing fans who want to see Canelo and GGG fight again. It would be great for Saunders because he would keep alive his dream of fighting the Mexican star.

Billy Joe Saunders Canelo Alvarez

With Canelo, you can’t underestimate what he could do in terms of his next fight. While it sounds illogical to the average fan for Canelo to stick it out with Saunders and kick the much bigger contest against Golovkin down the road, but it’s a predictable move on Alvarez’s part. After all, Canelo is the one that chose to fight Rocky Fielding and Sergey Kovalev instead of more formidable foes.  You don’t want to say Canelo is a cherry-picker obviously, but it’s hard to ignore when he opts to fight the like of Kovalev instead of Artur Beterbiev.


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