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Saunders believes Canelo fight will be offered to him again

Billy Joe Saunders Canelo Alvarez

By Dan Ambrose: Billy Joe Saunders isn’t too worried about his fight with Saul Canelo Alvarez no longer happening for September because he believes he’s going to be offered it again soon.

Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) says he’ll likely get the fight against the Golden Boy star Canelo Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) as long as he keeps winning.

At 168, Canelo only has a small handful of options due to him NOT a desire to fight any of the talented PBC fighters David Benavidez and Caleb Plant. Unless Canelo is going to drag up 160-pounders to fight at 168, he’ll be limited to these DAZN fighters at super middleweight:

  • Billy Joe Saunders
  • John Ryder
  • Callum Smith

Saunders is in an excellent position to get the Canelo fight in 2021, as long as he continues to win. He may need to take a tough opponent like Daniel Jacobs or Callum Smith before then, but those are winnable fights.

In theory, Canelo can also fight 175-pounders like Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol, but most boxing fans believe he’ll NEVER fight either of those guys. If Alvarez were interested in facing them, he wouldn’t have vacated his WBO light heavyweight title last November after beating Sergey Kovalev.

Billy Joe Saunders Canelo Alvarez

John Ryder should get Alvarez in September

“I’d like to see John Ryder get it,” said Saunders to Seconds Out on Canelo’s September 12 fight. “I think he deserves the shot because he had a good match with Callum Smith, and I watched the fight back.

“I felt he was hard done by it, but I understand that Callum is a champion. He deserves the fight. I think they’ll look at John; he’s a southpaw, and it might be a hard night’s work. I think someone like [Jason] Quigley or Tureano Johnson will possibly land the fight.

“I did worry about that, but not anymore,” said Saunders when asked if he’s worried about the legacy fights passing him by. I’ve created a legacy for what I’ve done already.

“I’ve cemented myself in life and cemented my family life. I know what I’ve done, where I’ve come from, and what I’ve achieved and what people said I couldn’t do, I’ve done. So if they don’t come, it doesn’t bother me,” Saunders continued.

Golden Boy Promotions will need to pick an opponent for Canelo that’ll be palatable for the American market. DAZN is the one paying Canelo boatloads of money for him to bring the subscribers in, and he’s not going to do that fighting a guy like John Ryder.

Besides Ryder being an unknown to the average American, he’s coming off of a loss to Callum Smith. Let that sink in for a second.

How on earth does DAZN brush Ryder’s loss under the table without U.S boxing fans finding out, and saying, ‘What kind of poor fight are they trying to sell us?’ Sticking Ryder at the bottom of Canelo’s undercard would work, but not in the headliner or co-feature spot.

Canelo is the only fight Saunders wants

“It generally doesn’t bother me. There’s only a fight that can prove my true legacy, and that’s Canelo Alvarez. Golovkin has been beaten. I know Canelo has been beaten, but it was by Mayweather, so it’s like a no defeat, really.

“But if it [Canelo fight] comes it comes. The only thing I can do to get it to happen is to keep winning. In boxing, we rent it out to the paying public. The boxing game is a dog eat dog world.

“You’re only the man all the time you’re winning. If you’re not in the spotlight and you’re not winning, then you don’t exist in this game. Sometimes politics get in the way of a big fight, and if people knew the truth.

“If you’re not going to give me enough time for preparation, then I don’t want to fight,” said Saunders. “If I get beat by the better man, I can shake his hand and say, ‘Fair play, you were a better man.’ I can sleep at night.

“But if I went in there thinking, ‘I knew I shouldn’t have done it. What do I do now?’ That would cause me to have a bad mental breakdown. I think I’m unfortunate in these things. Is it because I’m an old Gypsy, I don’t know,” added Saunders.

When you’re dealing with Canelo, you just never know when you’re going to be picked by him out of the hat. It’s just odd that the guys that Canelo does choose are often severely overweight at the time they’re selected.

For example, Alfredo Angulo, James Kirkland, and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr were all badly out of shape when picked by Canelo. Now you can add Saunders’ name to that list.

Billy Joe waiting for Hearn to pick a date for next fight

“You’ve got all these people now, ‘The fights [againt Canelo] is gone. It’s never going to be offered’ like Bernard Hopkins and stuff like that. Bernard Hopkins is a racist against white people.

“He made a remark many years ago to Joe Calzaghe, and I’m so glad that Joe Calzaghe smashed it. Also, when I was on stage against David Lemieux, he made a remark to me that I’m not going to come out and talk s*** about, but it is what it is.

“He used to be one of my idols, but when I met him on stage, people say, ‘Never meet your idols because they’re not what they seem.’ And I thought ‘what an evil p*** he [Hopkins] is,’ you know? I just generally think he’s got something against the white community.

“I’ve been talking to Eddie [Hearn], and I’m waiting for him to come back with a date for me now,” said Saunders. “I should have been out two or three times this year, and when this thing happened, I was in brilliant shape for Canelo Alvarez.

“It’s a pandemic that affected the whole world. I can’t really do anything about that. It’s out of my control. At this level, Canelo is an elite athlete, and he’s an elite fighter. I’m 29-0, a 2-weight world champion.

Billy Joe Saunders Canelo Alvarez

“There are not too many people that can say that. Look, I’m 30-years-old, and I’ve never had a holiday in boxing. I’ve never gone on a holiday ever in my life. I am always training,” Saunders said.

This will likely be an easy voluntary defense for Saunders, given the amount of time he’s been sitting inactive. He last fought in November in beating Marcelo Estaban Coceres by an 11th round knockout.

Training at home wasn’t proper preparation for Billy Joe

“When you get in there to cement your legacy and prove you’re the best on the planet at your weight, that sort of training is no good [training at home].

“When we were locked down, I didn’t have a gym. I had a running machine, a punching bag, and a couple of weights. It’s not ideal. No sparring, lack of sparring. People don’t realize all this. You have to have the correct preparation for the fight,” said Saunders.

“This pandemic came at the wrong time to have a Canelo Alvarez fight in nine weeks,” said Saunders. “It just doesn’t add up to me. You can mention and say, ‘Yeah, he didn’t want to fight and pulled out. ‘

“But there’s a reason why Callum Smith’s not fighting; there’s a reason why I’m not fighting, and there’s a reason why the other champions aren’t fighting.

“There is a reason, and it’s because it just didn’t add up for any of us [to face Canelo]. And the sums that they had on the table certainly didn’t add up for any of them,” said Billy Joe.

Training at home is no way for Saunders to be preparing for a fighter like Canelo, especially considering he probably would need a knockout to win.

Saunders says that he would have needed five months to prepare for the Canelo fight to beat him, and all he was given was six weeks.

Chris Eubank Jr doesn’t deserve Canelo

“Why would someone give him a chance and a shot?” said Saunders on Chris Eubank Jr, pushing for the Canelo fight. “What has he got, and what has he done to deserve that? What has he achieved? George Groves beat him when he was finished at the time.

“He [Eubank Jr] got beat up by a finished George Groves, and George Groves was a brilliant fighter in his time. But George Groves beat him with one arm. It’s one of them. He [Eubank Jr] hasn’t done anything.

He stepped up when he boxed me and got beat, and he stepped up when he boxed George Groves and got beat. Who else has he beat who we can say, ‘That’s a good name.’

“Matt Korobov was beating Eubank comfortably, and his shoulder popped out. So he hasn’t warranted anything or done anything in the game to deserve that fight [Canelo]. The man looks in lovely shape. He’s a brilliant athlete, but that’s all he is.

“He should go into sprinting or triathlon or something like that to try a different career because he’s never going to get those big cemented fights in his career and define himself as his dad. He’s not like his dad. He’s not good enough.

“And he’s had an elevated lift because of his dad’s name his second name. The only thing he has for me to take is what I took, and that’s the Eubank name. That it. He hasn’t got anything else,” said Saunders.

Chris Eubank Jr deserves a fight against Canelo a lot more than guys like Ryder, Jason Quigley, Anthony Dirrell, or Tureano Johnson. Those are some of the fighters that Golden Boy is considering for Canelo’s September 12 fight.


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