Saunders wants Andrade in February, Canelo in May
By Jim Dower: Billy Joe Saunders wants to face Demetrius Andrade in late February, and then Canelo Alvarez on May 5th. The WBO super middleweight champion Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) says he’s not going to sit around and wait for Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) to get freed up to fight him in May.
Billy Joe wants to stay busy in the meantime rather than sit around and wait for Alvarez to get done with his title defense against his WBC super middleweight mandatory Avni Yildirim in Fbeury.
Saunders’ promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom says they’ll find out next week if he’s getting the May 5th fight against Canelo. Billy Joe and IBF 168-lb champion Caleb Plant are being considered by Canelo for his fight in May on DAZN.
Saunders doesn’t like the idea of sitting around and waiting needlessly for a fight against Canelo, so he’d like to stay busy by facing Andrade (29-0, 18 KOs).
Andrade will need to vacate his WBO middleweight title and move up to 168 if he wants to take on Billy Joe for his title. Saunders said he contacted Andrade earlier on Wednesday to gauge his interest in a fight, and he’s ready to make that match.
Billy Joe targeting Andrade
“I’m supremely confident of knocking him out cold, very confident,” said Saunders to IFL TV about his belief he can knockout Andrade. “I love boxing southpaws, I love fighting someone with his style.
“I’ve got a very good track record against southpaws. I would love to give him a hiding. Eddie Hearn, let’s make the fight. Let’s get it on, rock and roll. Vacate the WBO 160 title, move up, tell the WBO you’re moving up, and we can get it on.
“If you’re worried about it, vacate, move up and you’re the mandatory. Move up and do it. I can make 160, but why would I want to go back down to 160 when all the big money fights are at 168, and all the big talents have come up to 168.
“Move up, come up to 168. Me and him have swapped messages on social media,” said Billy Joe.
It would be a great fight if the Andrade vs. Saunders match can finally get made, as those two have been going back and forth trash-talking for the last three years.
Andrade has very few options available to him if he chooses to stay at 160, as he’s had no luck in getting champions Gennadiy Golovkin and Jermall Charlo to fight him.
If Andrade stays at 160, he’ll be defending his WBO middleweight title against his mandatory Liam Williams in a low-level fight.
Saunders will fight Canelo in May
“I don’t want to be sitting around.,” said a frustrated Billy Joe. “Let Canelo do his thing.
“If he’s fighting in February, I would love to fight him in May, but if he thinks I’m going to be sitting around until May twiddling my thumbs, he’s got another thing coming.
“I’m not going to be doing that. I’m back in the gym, I’m in shape, let’s get it on. Let’s stop beating around the bush and waiting around.
“I’m going to get sick and tired of waiting around for one of these big fights. I’m getting to the stage that if a big fight doesn’t get made, ‘Thank you very much, see you later.’
“I’m in it for the big fights to see how good I am. Zach Parker, he’s my mandatory but that’s not the big fight that I want.
“Andrade, if he moves up to 168, he jumps in front of everyone. The winner of us gets Canelo. It’s a brilliant plan, isn’t it? It works for DAZN. The winner of us fights Canelo.,” said Saunders.
This writer could be wrong, but Andrade isn’t likely to fight Saunders on one months’ notice in February. None of this talk will matter if next week Canelo commits to the fight with Saunders in May.
Once that happens, Saunders will forget about fighting Andrade in February, and he’ll get ready for the big-money match against the Mexican superstar. In other words, Saunders wants the suspense to be over with on whether he gets the May 5th fight against Canelo.
Saunders is coming off of a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision over former five-time world title challenger Martin Murray last December on DAZN. It was a good performance by Billy Joe in shellacking the 38-year-old Murray, who announced his retirement afterwards.
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