Saunders angry about ring size for Canelo fight, insisting on 22-foot
By Charles Brun: Billy Joe Saunders’ dad Tom says they’ll be flying home if Matchroom Boxing doesn’t agree to the 22-foot ring they want for the Canelo Alvarez fight on Saturday. If Saunders bails on the fight, it could be bad. Would Canelo offer Billy Joe a second chance with a new fight date?
Canelo and Saunders will be meeting on Saturday in the main event at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
It’s doubtful because what if Saunders and his dad find something else they’re not happy about in the week of the fight and fly home again without fighting?
Tom Saunders says Matchroom wanted Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) to fight Canelo (55-1-2, 37 KOs) in an 18-foot ring, which he says is an “amateur’ sized ring.
Matchroom later compromised with a 20-footer, which according to Wikipedia, is the normal maximum size for a ring.
Tom Saunders wants a 22-foot ring
That’s not good enough for Tom Saunders, as he wants nothing less than a 22-footer, and he says they will not budge on the issue. It’s unclear whether the size of the ring was written in the contract for the fight.
Obviously, it works in the southpaw Saunder’s favor to fight in a larger 22-foot ring because he figures to use a lot of movement against Canelo on Saturday night.
It’s bad news for the boxing fans hoping to see a thrilling fight because it looks like Saunders will be running around the ring all night trying to evade Canelo.
Saunders balking at 18 to 20-foot ring
“He’s so switched on, he’s strong as a bull, and he can’t wait to fight,” said Tom Saunders to iFL TV about Billy Joe. “There’ a few issues we’re not happy about that we got to get sorted out.
“That’s the size of the ring. Matchroom wants us to box in an 18-foot ring, and then they come back with a 20-foot ring. It was supposed to be a 24-foot ring.
“Then we’ve compromised with no smaller than a 22-foot ring,” Tom Saunders continued. “MTK is on it, and they’re all over it now. Hopefully, that’ll sort it out, and I’m sure it will be.
“For Matchroom to want Billy Joe to box in an 18-foot in the ring, that’s an amateur ring. It seems to me in an 18 to 20-foot ring, they’re trying to take Billy Joe’s advantage away from him, and we haven’t got many advantages here.
“We’re up against everything. Eddie Hearn said that he was going to do; he’s delivered this fight, but at what cost? And he’s not working with us; he’s working against us in every opportunity,” said Saunders.
Matchroom’s 20-foot ring-size compromise should be more than enough, as that’s the maximum size for a ring. It’s unknown why Tom wants a 22-footer. What does Billy Joe need a ring that large for the Canelo fight?
Moreover, what happens with Saunders if he does bail on the Canelo fight? Will he ever be offered another fight by him or any of the big names?
Canelo to get a big surprise
“Billy Joe knows to fight Canelo in an 18 to 20-foot ring; that’s ridiculous,” said Tom Saunders. “We’ve left it at 22 feet, no lower. Otherwise, we’re flying home.”
“To expect Billy Joe to box in an 18 to 20-foot ring is absolutely ridiculous. Matchroom needs to pull their finger out; otherwise, we will be coming home.
“I want the fight to happen, Billy Joe wants the fight to happen, but we will not budge on this. Canelo is going to get the biggest surprise of his life. Canelo has forgotten where he came from.
“He’s flying around in his private jets. He’d relied on two occasions where he should have been beat. The judges have gone his way. We’re not ‘yes men,’ and Canelo is going to have the shock of his life.
“If this fight comes off, Canelo is a beaten man. Skills are going to beat this man. It’s the bull [Canelo] and the matador [Saunders], and the matador outthinks the bull until he’s ready to slay the bull.
“It’s an amateur-sized ring, come on,” said Tom Saunders in complaining about the 18 to 20-foot ring that Matchroom wants Billy Joe to fight Canelo in on Saturday.
“We are not going to accept an 18 to 20-foot ring. Who does Eddie Hearn and Matchroom think they are? They’re trying to sell the British fighters down the river,” said Tom Saunders.
With Tom making major production about wanting a larger ring, it seems clear that Billy Joe’s surprise in store for Canelo will be a track meet on Saturday.
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