Saunders looking to end Canelo’s winning streak

By Boxing News - 03/25/2020 - Comments

By Barry Holbrook: British super middleweight Billy Joe Saunders will be looking to end Canelo Alvarez’s four-fight winning streak when they fight potentially in the next five months. There’s still no date for the fight, but it’s possible that WBO 168-lb champion Sanders (29-0, 14 KOs) and WBA World champ Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs) could battle it out as easy as June.

This is a fight that will make Saunder’s career and set him up for a rematch against the Mexican superstar that will make him massive money.

Canelo’s winning streak

Not only does Canelo have a winning streak dating back to 2018, but he also has a perfect 5-0 record when fighting opposition from the UK.

Since 2011, Canelo has wins over these Brits:

  • Matthew Hatton
  • Ryan Rhodes
  • Amir Khan
  • Liam Smith
  • Rocky Fielding

One can argue that Canelo hasn’t faced any of the super talented fighters from the UK like Saunders, Callum Smith or Chris Eubank Jr. Those fighters that Canelo fought were ones that are belt holders at one time, except for Mathew Hatton. By the time Canelo’s career started up, he didn’t have to worry about guys like Joe Calzaghe, Chris Eubank Sr. or Nigel Benn. You can only imagine the trouble Canelo would have had against those guys.

Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) could be the one that breaks Canelo’s winning streak this year, as long as he’s not prevented from fighting him by the coronavirus pandemic.

“For me, everything is to win. I think (Canelo) is a brilliant, complete fighter, but the point here is that I think we’ve seen the best of him already, and we haven’t seen the best of me yet,” said Saunders to ESPN. “We have already seen the best of him, twice with Golovkin, in the fight with Daniel Jacobs, he is not going to improve.”

Image: Saunders looking to end Canelo's winning streak

Billy Joe can learn from Lara and Mayweather

Saunders shouldn’t assume that Canelo isn’t still getting better, in view of the fact that he’s not lost a fight since 2013, and he’s coming up with great game plans each time out. What Saunders can do is learn from the fighters that have given Canelo the most problems.

We’re talking about Floyd Mayweather Jr. Gennadiy Golovkin and Erislandy Lara. Mayweather and Lara both outboxed Canelo, and gave him fits with their jabbing and moving. GGG did a good job with his jabbing in his two fights with Canelo, but his power punching wasn’t nearly as effective. Canelo was able to make Golovkin miss with his power shots, and he landed a lot of counter shots. Against Lara and Mayweather, Canelo couldn’t do that.

Saunders is a difficult southpaw – Canelo

“A fight between me and BJ Saunders is a great fight, he’s a great fighter,” said Canelo to TheRingDigital. “He’s a difficult southpaw and a great champion. It’s a good fight. It literally is ‘No Boxing NO Life.’ I just won a fourth world title, and I’m back here in the gym,” said Canelo.

The dedication that Canelo has is what makes him so good. He doesn’t let up with his training, and he’s constantly learning new things in between fights. While other fighters slack off and get fat in between fights, Canelo continues to train, stay and shape and focus on how to improve from each performance.

“It’s no boxing no life for me. I took a week of vacation, and on Tuesday I was back in the gym training. And I like it a lot. I like training. I love boxing, I love being in the gym. It makes me feel really good. And the list of opponents is going to keep growing. There’s no rush in that. As soon as I beat one, five new opponents pop up,” said Canelo.

If Canelo gets passed Saunders, then he’ll be fighting Golovkin either this year or in 2021. The time frame for Canelo to fight GGG will be dictated by the coronavirus pandemic.  It would be a good idea for Canelo not to overlook Saunders because he could prove to be his most difficult opponent since Mayweather.

The movement and the boxing ability that Saunders rivals what the 36-year-old Mayweather had when he fought Canelo in 2013. Mayweather wasn’t the same fighter he once was by the time he fought Canelo, and he beat him by jabbing and moving.

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