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Saunders: I’m NOT a stepping stone for Canelo

Billy Joe Saunders Canelo Alvarez

By Max Seitelman: Billy Joe Saunders may have flushed his last opportunity for a big fight by pulling his name out of consideration for the Canelo Alvarez fight on September 12.

Saunders may no longer be able to get the Canelo fight for September, even if he agrees to the reduced offer from Golden Boy. It appears that they’ve moved on and are looking at Sergiy Derevyanchenko as a potential opponent for Canelo.

Billy Joe says he’s not a “stepping stone” for Canelo Alvarez. He would be coming in there to beat him, but for him to do that, he would need a full training camp.

Saunders goes on to say that he’s an “elite fighter” and a former two-division world champion. The fighters that Saunders beat to become a two-division world champion are Andy Lee and Shefat Isufi. In other words, Saunders didn’t beat an A-level guy to win his two world titles.

Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) wanted more time to lose weight, and he was bitter about being asked by Golden Boy Promotions to take a pay cut.

Some would say that Billy Joe’s move makes him look like a coward and that it saves him from taking a beating from Canelo. The fans don’t agree with Saunders’ rationale for pulling out of the fight, as he still had ten weeks of preparation time. That should have been more than enough time to get ready for Canelo.

Billy Joe Saunders Canelo Alvarez

Saunders wants Golden Boy to pay him right

Billy Joe wants to be paid the same money he was offered initially to take on Canelo for May 2 of this year, but that’s not going to happen. The original offer from Golden Boy was made to Saunders before the pandemic hit, and they based it off of the projected live gate it would have brought in.

Now there’s no chance for any gate money in live boxing events in the U.S right now, so the money that Saunders was hoping to get is no longer there.

“I’m not a stepping stone for Canelo,” said Saunders to IFL TV. “If they want to fight me give me proper time, and give me the money I agreed with first of all. Don’t come back with pay cuts. I belong at the elite level. I’m not an opponent.

“I don’t think they’re going to be fair with people with the sums they pay people,” said Saunders.

It would be too bad for Saunders if this is his last shot at the big time because he’s running out of time on his carer. Right now, Saunders is a belt-holder with his WBO super middleweight title.

He beat a weak opponent to capture the vacant WBO belt in defeating Shefat Isufi in 2019, and he’s made one defense against a fighter named Marcelo Coceres, who most boxing fans had never heard of.

Saunders has made good money during his 11-year pro career, and it just seems like he’s comfortable with what he’s made. If he wanted to make more, he would have agreed to the revised offer from Golden Boy and taken the fight.

Will Saunders ever get another chance for a big fight?

You can probably forget about Saunders fighting Canelo or Gennady Golovkin, but he’s got a good chance to face Daniel Jacobs and Callum Smith. The Smith fight would make money for Saunders, but only if they can fight in front of a live crowd in Liverpool, England. That’s not going to happen in 2020.

GGG and Canelo are probably done with Saunders after this episode, and they’ll know to steer clear of him from this point forward.

Saunders can’t sit on his WBO 168-lb title for the remainder of 2020 without defending it. He’s going to need to get in the ring and at least make a voluntary defense against one of the WBO’s top 15 contenders.


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