By: Hans Themistode
All of the hard work is complete for Billy Joe Saunders. The WBO super middleweight belt holder has spent the past several months whipping his body into the best shape humanly possible as he prepares to take on unified super middleweight champion, Canelo Alvarez, at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas this coming weekend.
While Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) is satisfied with his preparation, he isn’t exactly pleased with what’s taking place behind the scenes. With the British native officially arriving in Dallas, he was given the opportunity to take a close look at the ring that both himself and Alvarez will be standing in come fight night.
To the untrained eye, things would appear to be fine, but for Saunders, the ring just doesn’t look right.
“There’s one or two small things now,” said Saunders during an interview with Behind The Gloves when discussing his issues with the event. “One of those small things and when I say small is the ring. I’ve left it to my team. I let them sort out all of that rubbish.
“You don’t go in a 70,000 seat stadium with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of feet long and now down to a 16-foot ring or a 18-foot ring or even a 20-foot ring. This magnitude of fight has to be on a fair playing field.”
According to reports, team Saunders is mystified by the size of the ring. Originally, the two-division titlist believed that his contest against Alvarez would take place in a ring that measured 24 ft. Now, however, the ring size is allegedly 20 ft.
For Saunders, the need to play by the rules has always been at the forefront of his mind. The crafty southpaw grew agitated several months ago once he was told that a British judge would not be allowed. Initially, Saunders said he was told by promoter Eddie Hearn that a British judge, as well as one of Mexican descent, would be ringside as well as a neutral judge.
While that appeared to be an issue at first, team Saunders fears were placated once it was revealed that there would be three neutral judges sitting ringside instead. Regarding their latest controversy, Saunders is simply hoping that things will be worked out quietly behind the scenes. Despite it all, the former two-division champion is merely looking for a 50/50 showdown with no excuses at the end of the night.
“Win, lose or draw if it’s fair, it’s fair. If I go in there and get knocked out in ten seconds, you can shake his hand and say look, he was the better man. If I go in there and knock him out in ten seconds, you can shake his hand as long as everything is fair for everybody. Including him and including me.”
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