By: Hans Themistode
Billy Joe Saunders won’t allow Canelo Alvarez to pull a fast one on him.
While Saunders is happy as can be to be near the top of the Mexican star’s wishlist, he realizes that he won’t be first in line. That, of course, will more than likely go to WBC mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim in February. Should Alvarez do what many are expecting which is to walk right through his man, then Saunders will place his WBO super middleweight title on the line against Alvarez in May.
With Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) screaming for a showdown with Alvarez for years now, he appears on his way to having his wish granted. Still, even with the biggest contest of his career staring him square in the face, he won’t allow it to distract him from the sneaky move Alvarez is attempting to pull.
“I’m not sitting around waiting until May,” explained Saunders during an interview with IFL TV. “It’s just too long. He’s fighting in February so I want to fight in February or the first week of March, something like that. I can’t just let him fight, get into a camp and then roll straight over into another camp. It’s a clever move from them but I want to be out there as well. If he thinks I’m going to be just sitting around until May twiddling my thumbs he’s got another thing coming.”
Although the 31-year-old Saunders is coming off the heels of a one-sided victory against Martin Murray in early December, he simply won’t allow any rust to pile up as he waits on the sidelines for Alvarez to take care of business in February. Choosing an opponent for the British product isn’t the most difficult thing in the world. However, facing any run of the mill fighter would do nothing to prepare him for the challenge that Alvarez presents.
Nevertheless, he does have one person in mind who would be the perfect opponent.
“(Demetrius) Andrade vacate the world 160 title. Move up and tell the WBO that you’re moving up and we can get it on. Vacate, move up and you’re mandatory. Let’s rock and roll. The winner of us fights Canelo.”
A matchup between Andrade and Saunders is one that has floated about for quite some time. In October of 2018, after coming to terms on a fight agreement, their showdown went by the wayside as Saunders failed a pre-fight drug test.
Since then, Andrade (29-0, 18 KOs) has attempted to rekindle their original fight agreement. Saunders, to his credit, has always expressed a willingness to face the unbeaten southpaw.
To most observers, a possible showdown between them is a virtual coin flip. The notion however, that their contest would be competitive, is laughable to Saunders.
In fact, the once smiling face of the two-division titlist appears dead serious when discussing the severity of the beating he would dish out to his possible future opponent.
“I swear to God on my kid’s life. I am extremely confident of knocking him out cold – I love boxing southpaws, I love boxing someone with his style, I have a very good track record against southpaws. Eddie Hearn, make the fight.”
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