WBO gives Hearn 10 days to advise if Saunders will face Canelo or Andrade next
By Charles Brun: The WBO is putting the clamps on Billy Joe Saunders, taking easy voluntary defenses following his victory last Friday night over the aging fringe contender 38-year-old Martin Murray in London, England.
WBO president Paco Valcarcel Tweeted this morning that Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has 10 days to let them know whether WBO super middleweight champion Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) will be taking on Canelo Alvarez or Demetrius Andrade next.
Canelo isn’t likely to negotiate a fight with Saunders before facing WBA super-middleweight champion Callum Smith on December 19th.
Hearn has no time to negotiate Canelo vs. Saunders
The WBO’s ten-day deadline puts the Canelo fight out of reach for Saunder’s next contest, and that leaves Andrade. It’s doubtful Saunders will agree to fight the talented Andrade because he’s never been motivated to face him.
For that reason, it’s almost a given that Saunders will be facing his WBO mandatory next, be it #2 Parker, #3 Daniel Jacobs, or shudder the thought, #4 David Lemieux.
If not, the WBO will be ordering Saunders to defend against his mandatory, which they will soon be determining. It’s believed that #2 WBO Zach Parker (19-0, 13 KOs) will be made Saunder’s mandatory, and he would need to face him next if he wants to keep his WBO title.
The only thing Saunders has going for him is his WBO strap, so he would absolutely need to face Parker if he wants to keep his only bargaining chip to try and get a fight against Canelo Alvarez.
The move by the World Boxing Organization will interrupt the repeated voluntary defenses that Saunders has been doing since he captured the vacant WBO 168-lb title last year in beating an obscure fighter named Shefat Isufi.
In Saunder’s first defense, he took on fringe contender Marcelo Esteban Coceres last year in November, and he stopped him in the 11th round.
It was hoped that after Saunders took that easy fight that he would take on Canelo, but Billy Joe needed more time to lose weight, so he passed up the option of facing him.
WBO gives Billy Joe 10 days to decide
Congratulations to @WorldBoxingOrg 168 lbs Champ Billy Joe Saunders. WBO is waiting for @EddieHearn to advise within 10 days if he will face Canelo or Andrade next. If he doesn’t face either one, we will order to face mandatory challenger designated by Championship Committee.
— Paco Valcárcel, Esq. (@PacoValcarcel) December 4, 2020
“I think he’s a pound-for-pound,” Hearn said of Saunders. “He has to go into a career-defining fight in 2021. Everybody wants the Canelo fight, but one thing about Bill, he won’t wait around.
‘He ruled himself out of the [Canelo] fight at the backend of this year because he knew he wouldn’t get the deal that he wanted for that fight. But you can’t limit yourself.
‘The Gennadiy Golovkin is a great fight for him, and Demetrius Andrade is a great fight. Hopefully, Callum Smith beats Canelo, and that’s a big massive British unification fight as well. If he doesn’t have that fight, it would be a wasted career,” said Hearn.
It’s a pipe dream on Hearn’s part to add Golovkin to the small list of big fights that Saunders wants. Golovkin isn’t going to move up to 168 to face Saunders because there’s no money in that match.
“Canelo won’t be available for May,” said Saunders. “If his team wants to put in an offer, I’ll come back down to middleweight and become a three-time world champion. I have what everybody wants, a world title.
“I haven’t said no to anybody. Caleb Plant and Benavidez, if ould even make those fights, I’d be game. Logically, I want the winner of Callum Smith and Canelo,” said Saunders.
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