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Billy Joe Saunder’s Father Says Canelo-Saunders Is Off

By: Sean Crose

“Fight’s off.”

That’s what Billy Joe Saunders’ father, Tom Saunders, says on a video posted today by iFL TV. With Tom Watts, Saunders’ manager, sitting beside him, the elder Saunders appears quite serious, though it’s hard to tell if he is or isn’t using the video as a way to play hard ball in negotiations. “I can’t see them coming face to face,” he says of his son and Canelo, “because the issue with the ring has still not been sorted.” As Boxing Insider’s Hans Themistode reported yesterday, there has been a dispute between Saunder’s and Canelo’s camps as to how big the ring should be for Saturday night’s scheduled super middleweight bout between the two men.

“The negations have broke down big time,” Saunder’s continues. “Basically what they’re (team Canelo) trying to do is take Billy Joe’s legs away. I mean, we’re up against everything here. Everything. At the end of the day I’m not going to let my son box in a twenty foot ring with the supposed to be pound for pound king of boxing.” The elder Saunders also claims that it’s team Canelo that’s unwilling to budge on the matter. “They’ve said it’s either 20 foot or book your fights home,” he says.

Saunders’ father goes on to say in the video that he has no doubt Team Canelo has a replacement lines up. “If you’ve bought tickets,” he says, “ask for your money back. Cuz that’s all you’re going to see is a bum in there with Canelo.” Saunders adds that, as far as he’s concerned, Canelo is wary of facing his son. “I don’t think he wants to fight Billy Joe,” he says plainly. “He only wants a sure thing. And Billy Joe’s not a sure thing.”

As for the fighter himself, Billy Joe is said to be done with the matter. “He wants to go home,” his father says in the video. “We’re not going to take this bullshit anymore.” Team Saunders appears to be under the impression that Team Canelo isn’t used to being challenged. “Someone said no,” the Saunders says. “These people are used to fighters coming over for a paycheck and saying yes sir, no sir…we’re not doing that that.” As for things changing for the better at the last minute, the elder Saunders is doubtful. “I can’t see it changing,” he says. “It’s in Canelo’s corner.”

“All we’ve asked since day one is a fair chance,” he claims.

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