Malignaggi: Saunders can’t win a decision against Canelo
By Chris Williams: Paulie Malignaggi says Canelo Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders is a “50-50 fight”, but he doesn’t think Billy can win a decision. Malignaggi insists that Saunders will be getting “robbed” in this fight, a view that will endear him to Billy Joe’s fans.
Paulie feels that Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) can win the fight in the minds of boxing fans, but he still won’t get the decision.
In other words, Saunders will need a knockout for him to beat Canelo on Saturday in their headliner 168-lb unification bout at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The fight will be streamed on DAZN.
Like Saunders, Malignaggi is a finesse fighter, and he’s been critical of Canelo in the past. For that reason, you have to take what Malignaggi says with a great of salt.
“Whatever Saunders does, he’s going to get robbed,” said Paulie Malignaggi. “It’s a good fight, Saunders and Canelo. Saunders can win that fight in our minds, but he can also lose. It’s a 50-50 fight. He can win that fight in our minds. I don’t think he can win on the scorecards, no,” said Malignaggi.
“Does Billy Joe have a chance? No, he doesn’t,” said IBF/WBA/WBC Franchise/WBO lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez. “But you know what? I’m not going to cut the man short like that. Everybody has a chance when they’re in that ring.
“Anything can happen. Do I believe he [Saunders] has the eye of the tiger to go out and win? No, but do I believe he has a chance? When you’re in there, it’s different,” said Teofimo with his choice of Canelo.
Teo is right. Every fighter has a chance inside the ring, but it’s obviously going to be tough for Saunders. He looked good in his win over David Lemieux in 2017, but he hasn’t impressed in his four fights since.
It’s hard to believe Saunders has fought just four times since his outstanding win over Lemieux four years ago, but that’s another reason why he’s being counted out.
“I got Canelo,” said former WBA light welterweight champion Regis Prograis. “Saunders is real good. He can definitely fight his a** off, but I got Canelo.
“Canelo is only getting better. After the Floyd fight, it just elevated him. Each time he fights, he learns more and more and gets better and better,” said Prograis.
Canelo has improved dramatically since his loss to Floyd Mayweathe Jr in 2013; it’s going to be hard for anyone to beat him.
What Saunders has going against him in this fight is his lack of power, speed, and popularity. It’s to be popular if you want to win a decision.
Saunders has great boxing skills, but we’ve never seen him fight anyone good yet. He looked good against Lemieux, but that’s not Canelo.
Billy Joe probably would have gotten a fight with Canelo or Gennady Golovkin years ago, but the fighting style of lack of popularity in the U.S has made it easy to ignore him.
Leo Santa Cruz
“Canelo is in a hard fight because Billy Joe Saunders moves, he’s a lefty, he has an awkward style, but I don’t think he has the power to stop Canelo,” said Leo Santa Cruz.
“To stop Canelo, you have to be strong; you have to have a heavy hand for him to feel the power. But Billy Joe Saunders doesn’t have the power, so I think Canelo is going to break him down little by little, and he might end up knocking him out.”
Interestingly, Santa Cruz is advising on stopping Canelo when he’s never been knocked out before. Saunders isn’t a strong enough puncher to KO Canelo.
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