Saunders won’t be fighting Canelo, wants Andrade or Callum Smith in November

By Boxing News - 09/07/2020 - Comments

By Charles Brun: Billy Joe Saunders revealed today on social media that he WON’T be fighting Canelo Alvarez this year. He says he wants to face either Callum Smith or Demetrius Andrade, but he doesn’t hold out much hope for the latter.

Billy Joe doesn’t sound hopeful of getting a fight against Andrade, though, as he’s already trashing him by saying he’s “running” and “doesn’t want to fight nobody.” The fans see Saunders as the main problem for why he and Andrade have never fought, and, strangely, Billy Joe is turning things upside down.

Saunders sent a shout out to the other top 168-pounders in the division on Monday, letting them know he’s ready to fight.

WBO super middleweight champion Saunders isn’t saying what happened with the Canelo fight, but it’s likely due to the DAZN problems the Golden Boy star is having right now. Canelo is reportedly not willing to take a pay cut from the $33 million he gets per fight, so it’s very likely he’ll sit for the year.

DAZN isn’t expected to green light Canelo’s match against Avni Yildirim, which would be a horrible fight if the streaming giant showed it. That might top the Canelo vs. Rocky Fielding mismatch from 2018.

Saunders wants Andrade or Smith in November

Surprisingly, Canelo expressed interest with the World Boxing Council in fighting for the vacant 168-lb title. Why even make that move if the odds of DAZN approving the fight against Yildirim are next to nothing?

Saunders might be kidding himself if he thinks that he’s got a chance of fighting WBA super-middleweight champion Callum Smith (27-0, 19 KOs) during the pandemic this year. That’s not going to happen.

Besides, there’s not a ton of interest from British boxing fans in that match-up. Smith isn’t famous, and he looked dreadful in his last fight against John Ryder last November. Next to no one felt that Callum deserved the win in that match, and he hasn’t fought since that match.

Image: Saunders won’t be fighting Canelo, wants Andrade or Callum Smith in November

Saunders vs. Smith would need a gargantuan audience for that match to take place in 2020, and Matchroom can’t plan that fight based on guesswork. Yeah, they can speculate that crowds will be allowed back in by November or December, but if they’re wrong, that’s a lot of money that will go down the drain.

“This is a little message to any super middleweight. Canelo, I’ve been waiting around for Canelo as you all well know, so that one is parked up,” said Billy Joe on social media.

“Callum Smith and Andrade, let’s get it on. Callum, you’re a great fighter, a good fighter, unification, I reckon we can get it on.

“Andrade, you’re just a little p**** that keeps running. You don’t want to fight nobody. So let’s go 168. Lets rock and roll. November or December, we’re ready, boy,” said Saunders.

Andrade the best option for Saunders

For DAZN, Saunders vs. Andrade is a good fight for November or December. However, Andrade (29-0, 18 KOs) is expected to defend his WBO middleweight title against his mandatory Liam Williams next.

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If Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn can fix things with the World Boxing Organization, then perhaps Andrade, 32, can face Saunders in the fall.

Andrade is a more prominent name in the U.S than Callum Smith, so it makes more sense for DAZN to push for the Saunders-Andrade fight over a Saunders-Smith match-up.  If Saunders wants that fight, he only needs to speak with Eddie Hearn, and he’ll be able to put it together without problems.

Andrade would be a risky fight for Saunders, considering that he’s faster, and possesses a better punch. A lot of boxing fans already believe that Saunders ducked Andrade in 2018 when he tested positive for a banned substance when the two were supposed to fight.

If the objective for Saunders is to avoid facing Andrade, then he’s doing a good job of getting out of the fight by downgrading him.

Saunders must have had a conversation with his promoter Eddie Hearn, and received the bad news from him about the Canelo fight.