Eddie Hearn predicts Saunders will have his best performance against Canelo
By Barry Holbrook: Promoter Eddie Hearn predicts that Billy Joe Saunders will put in one of his best performances of his career on May 8th when he faces Canelo Alvarez in front of 70,000 fans at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
WBO super middleweight champion Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) rises to the occasion for his biggest fights, and Hearn believes the pressure that will be put on him will result in him putting one of his hist best efforts.
In the fights where Billy Joe had huge pressure on him against Chris Eubank Jr, Andy Lee, and David Lemieux, he took his game to another level to dominate those fighters.
If Saunders brings his game to the level where it was in those fights, he could beat WBA/WBC 168-lb champion Canelo (55-1-2, 37 KOs) in their headliner on DAZN and Sky Box Office.
Hearn promotes Canelo as well, so he would have mixed feelings about seeing him lose to Saunders.
“The capacity,” said Hearn to Fighthub on why they selected AT&T Stadium as the venue for the Canelo vs. Saunders fight. “In the last couple of fights, we had 12 and 15,000, and it felt like 100,000.
“The atmosphere is going to switch Billy on even more. Billy is never going to be overawed by the occasion or Canelo Alvarez.
“Billy is a reactive fighter. If he feels under threat, you’re going to get out of him. So I think the more pressure on Billy Joe Saunders, the better the performance.
“So I think it’s actually a good thing that he can walk out there and look around and say, ‘This is it for me, this is my golden chance,'” said Hearn.
Saunders may have problems initially in the first round or two before he figures Canelo out. But once he gets comfortable, Canelo could be in trouble, facing another Floyd Mayweather Jr type of fighter.
Saunders may still lose the fight because he’s still the visiting fighter, but the controversy will be too much for Canelo to walk away from the fight without giving him a rematch.
We saw Canelo beat Erislandy Lara, Austin Trout, and Gennadiy Golovkin by controversial decisions and choose not to fight them again, but it would be different against Saunders.
If Canelo wins a controversial decision on May 8th, Billy Joe won’t let him forget it, and he’ll give him a lot of bad press with his interviews.
“Yes, it’s always difficult when you’ve got two fighters in a fight, you know what I mean?” said Hearn about him promoting Canelo and Saunders.
“Firstly, working with Canelo has provided me the opportunity to give life-changing opportunities for Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders,” Hearn said.
“With a Billy Joe Saunders had on, I want him to go out there and have one of the greatest victories for a British fighter. With a Canelo had on, he beats Billy Joe, and he goes and fights Caleb Plant for the undisputed, and then we’ve got a global plan for him beyond there.
If Canelo beats Saunders, he’ll move on and face IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant for the undisputed championship in September. There will be a lot of interest in that fight.
Saunders would have to go back to the drawing board depending on how badly he loses the fight.
“The comments from Canelo make me feel massively fantastic. You’ve got the pound-for-pound number one saying that we’re the best promotional company in the world,” said Hearn.
“We’re straightforward, we deliver on all our promises, and he’s enjoying it, we’re enjoying it, and while we’re doing business, I think we’ll work together for a long time,” said Hearn.
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