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Canelo Alvarez training for Saunders & GGG

Billy Joe Saunders Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin

By Dan Ambrose: Canelo Alvarez posted a workout video of him on social media working on the heavy bag, preparing for Billy Joe Saunders or Gennadiy Golovkin.


Canelo (52-1-2, 36 KOs) looked powerful working out on the heavy bag, and he’s working hard for his next fight against Saunders or GGG.

Surprisingly, Canelo hasn’t commented on Saunders’ recent disturbing video about him offering advice on domestic violence. Canelo’s silence on the issue indicates that he still plans on going ahead with his unification fight against the WBO super middleweight champion Saunders.

Canelo still training

The British fighter’s promoter Eddie Hearn believes that Canelo is still planning to face BJ Saunders in the summer. Hearn thinks Canelo and Saunders have a shot at happening even in August, which would crowd out Golovkin for his trilogy match with Alvarez.

Golovkin could take Canelo fight

“I think the plan is for Canelo to fight Billy Joe still,” Hearn said to Boxing Social. “I don’t think this [Saunder’s problems] will have a significant effect, and I think it’ll be cleared up by the time the fight comes. And I think the more significant risk for that fight is when it’s available to happen. If you’re only going to fight once this year, you’re going to want it to be the biggest fight possible, you know?

“Maybe Canelo tries to go into the GGG fight [if boxing doesn’t restart by October or November],” said Hearn. “So that’s the danger for Billy more than anything. I know we have a contract for Gennadiy Golovkin to fight Szeremeta, and Canelo would like to fight Billy Joe before he fights Golovkin.

That’s if we can get it done in July or August. If there’s no fight by November, Canelo could choose to fight just once this year in the biggest match possible. I think this is a four-month delay for the boxing world, and once everything is back up and running, everything resumes as usual. So you can just imagine those four months didn’t exist, and we just had an eight-month year maybe,” said Hearn.

Golovkin remains the biggest threat to Saunders not getting the fight. If Saunders doesn’t get the match with Canelo by September, then Golovkin will be in a strong position to face the Mexican star in November or December. That’s the fight the boxing world wants to see. Only a small segment of the world wants to see Canelo fight Billy Joe.

Billy Joe Saunders Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin

Hearn expects Canelo vs. BJ Saunders to take place

“It’s not the first time he’s put a stupid video out, and it amplifies it,” said Hearn on Saunders. “The British Boxing Board of Control needed to act faster, which they did. It just gets himself in unnecessary trouble. It’s another example of someone with too much time on their hands at the moment. You have to ask yourself, ‘Who’s filming those videos?’ That was madness to put that out.

“We know it was just banter, we know it was just a laugh, but it’s irrelevant. You can’t be doing things like that. Joe Bloggs off the street shouldn’t be doing that, let alone a world champion. You live a different type of life now. You’re not some kid that works 9 to 5, and you have 50 followers on Facebook, and you put a video out, and no one even batted an eyelid. You’re a world champion.

“Kids are looking up to you; men are looking up to you, and men are looking up to you. He realizes now that he shouldn’t have done that. He’s made his apology, and I hope the British Boxing Board of Control will say, ‘You shouldn’t have done it. We know there was no malice. Back to normal.’

“I expect the [Canelo vs. Saunders] fight. Some of the beauty of Billy Joe Saunders is his craziness. A better word is his unpredictability,” said Hearn about Saunders. You get that spark sometimes. He’s funny, and he’s quick-witted. Sometimes he doesn’t think before he speaks. But he will speak his mind,” said Hearn.

Eddie is likely reading the tea-leaves and judging Canelo’s non-reaction to Saunders’ video as him still being interested in the fight. If Canelo had an issue with Saunders’ video, he would have said something by now.

Saunders went too far

“He [Saunders] went to a level that he shouldn’t have done,” said Hearn. “I didn’t expect a smooth ride working with Billy, but he’s a quality fighter, and he’s going to be in some big fights. And I like him. I have to be honest because I know when he puts that stuff out, he’s just having a laugh with no malice or no intent or no harm for anyone. But you’ve got to think before you press that post button.

“Just think, ‘Is this video going to get me in trouble? Will anyone be offended by this video?’ That’s all you’ve got to say to yourself. And the answer to both of those would have been yes, yes. So don’t post it. I still think the plan is for Canelo to fight Billy Joe,” said Hearn.

Canelo’s non-reaction to Billy Joe’s suggests that it’s business as usual with him, and that’s not going to push to get out of the fight. Where Canelo is at right now with his career, he only has a limited number of fighters he can face. With Canelo’s big contract he has with DAZN, he must fight opposition that will bring in subscribers. Canelo already whiffed badly in choosing to fight Rocky Fielding in his first fight of his 11-fight contract with DAZN.

Since Canelo doesn’t appear to want to risk his neck fighting the talented guys like Callum Smith, Jermall Charlo, Dmitry Bivol, Artur Beterbiev, or David Benavidez, it leaves few options. Saunders is the equivalent of gold for a fighter like Canelo due to him being with DAZN, and not a threat to beating him. Saunders is the ideal guy for Canelo, which is why he’s willing to stick it out with him as his next opponent.


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