By Scott Gilfoid: Tyson Fury says Billy Joe Saunders can beat anyone in the 160 and 168-pound divisions, including Canelo Alvarez, but he needs one or two tune-ups for him to prepare for that fight.
Fury doesn’t like that WBO super middleweight champion Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) will be going into the May unification fight against WBA/WBC champ Canelo (54-1-2, 36 KOs) with him not as active as the Mexican star.
Although Saunders fought last December against 38-year-old Martin Murray, Canelo will have an activity edge with him having fought last December, and then in February.
Saunders fought just once in 2020, which is the same amount as Canelo, but he’ll be one fight behind him. Alvarez is taking care of his WBC mandatory Avni Yildirim on February 27th.
Canelo’s advantage of being a little more active than Saunders isn’t a big deal, considering that his fight against Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs) is viewed as a mismatch.
Saunders can get better sparring than what Canelo will be seeing in his fight against Yildirim, and that’s something that Fury is failing to point out.
Fury: Saunders can beat anyone at 160 or 168
“Billy Joe Saunders can beat any middle or super middleweight in the world, not a problem,” said Tyson Fury to Gareth A Davies when asked if Saunders can beat Canelo.
“One thing I can say is, he needs to be active, and the one thing he hasn’t been is active. Just like me. When I’m active and injury-free, no one has got a chance against me.
“Just like Billy Joe. No middle or super middle in the world has even a chance with him when he’s active. Just like no heavyweight has a chance with me when I’m active.
“The good old cliche is with me and Billy Joe Saunders is, we’re never active. We’ve had more inactivity in our career than we’ve had activity. We’ve had more time out of the ring than we’ve had in it. If you just use me as an example.
“I’ve had years and years and years of inactivity. When I go to fight Anthony Joshua in a minute, I’ll have been out of the ring for 18 months. It’s not good preparation.
“The same thing with Billy Joe. He’s had the one fight against Martin Murray in I don’t know how long. So for me to say what Billy Joe needs, he needs another fight and maybe another one after that,” Fury said.
Well, Saunders could have fought Canelo last year, but he made big production about needing 10 weeks of training rather than 8.
Now Saunders has plenty of time to prepare for the Canelo fight, and Fury is bellyaching about him needing two tune-up fights. How pathetic.
I hate to break the bad news to Fury but Saunders isn’t going to get two tune-up fights before he faces Canelo. Saunders either teaks the fight with Canelo in May, or he can forget about him. The Canelo train will move on and leave Saunders in the dust.
What Fury doesn’t realize is, Saunders doesn’t have much more time left as the WBO super middleweight strap holder, does he? Demetrius Andrade is coming up to 168 and he’s going to rip Billy Joe’s WBO strap from him, sending him skittering back into the contender ranks.
Billy Joe will punch Canelo around the ring
“Me and Billy Joe Saunders, we are not journeymen,” Fury said. “We are not in boxing for a payday. And we are not in boxing to make the numbers up to get a few million quid in our bank.
“We are not interested. We would rather have zero money and win than take fights we’re not ready for. So he needs to be active and he”ll punch Canelo Alvarez all around the ring. Canelo Alvarez’s kryptonite is someone that boxes and moves all around the ring. Canelo Alvarez’s kryptonite is someone that boxes and moves southpaw that is slick, good feet, good power. Billy Joe Saunders does all of that, but he needs to be active.
“Nope, nope, nope, everyone is saying that the best performance of his career,” Tyson said when asked if Saunders needs to put in the best performance of his career for him to beat Canelo.
“No, he just needs to be sharp and active, match-fit. Canelo Alvarez is going to be match-fit, isn’t he? Because he just fought Callum Smith. Now he’s going to fight this Turkish guy [Avni Yildirim], and that’s only eight weeks later.
“Then he’s going to fight Billy Joe after that in another eight weeks later, however many months it is. So he’s been very active. He needs another fight or two,” Fury said of Billy Joe.
Saunders can’t punch. It doesn’t matter how active he is, he’s never going to be a Julian Jackson type of puncher. Billy Joe is a finesse fighter, and he always has been.
As such, his only chance of beating Canelo is to run around the ring, hit, and play keep away. Billy Joe has got to spoil and hope the judges will give him the win.
It’s not going to work obviously. You don’t beat Canelo by spoiling and stinking up the joint for 12 rounds.
Fury hinting at inactivity excuse for Joshua fight
“Forget about the money, forget about everything that’s going on,” Fury said. It’s about winning. So you need to be razor-sharp and active just like me.
“The difference between me two and a half years against [Sefer] Seferi, and then against [Francesco] Pianeta and against Wallin and Wilder.
“Then a few months later against Tom Schwarz. Look at the difference in an active fighter and an inactive fighter. Look at the difference between the Wilder 1 match and n active fighter that was match-fit.
“I was trying my best to fight in December, but the promoters couldn’t come up with it,” said Fury about his inability to take a tune-up against Agit Kabayel.
“They let me down with that one. So it’s going to be him [Joshua] active with only six months out of the ring and me inactive with 18 months out of the ring.
“So it’s another one up the Gypsy King’s Island, isn’t it? Put that one in your pipe and smoke it. I’m that far ahead, leagues ahead in boxing ability, heart, grit, determination, punch-power.
“It doesn’t matter how much of a headstart I give them, I’ll always catch them down the strait,” said Fury.
Oh my, this sounds like Fury is already cooking up an excuse to give the boxing public after he loses to Anthony Joshua. Gilfoid was hoping that Fury would just take the high road and admit that Joshua was too good for him, but now this.