By: Hans Themistode
For the past few years, WBO Super Middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders has been calling for a shot at pound for pound star Canelo Alvarez.
With back to back wins over Willie Monroe Jr and David Lemieux back in 2017, Saunders had effectively placed himself in the Canelo drivers seat. Yet, he was passed up by Gennadiy Golovkin and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Saunders dreams of fighting Canelo Alvarez seemed like a distant memory. But fast forward three years and add three additional wins to his resume and Saunders finds himself in the position he had been waiting for.
On May 2nd, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Saunders will finally receive his wish. The undefeated Super Middleweight champ will place his WBO title on the line in the bout he had been waiting for.
After years of waiting, Saunders finally landed his man. Or at least he hopes he did.
The unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic that has currently swept the entire sports world under the rug, has placed Saunders vs Canelo in major jeopardy. Their Super Middleweight contest has already been pushed back from their May date and has been tentatively set for June.
So now, like much of the sports world, the question of whether or not the contest will take place at all, is something that is almost impossible to answer at this point.
“Everything now depends on when the sport begins, because that fight was supposed to take place on Cinco de Mayo [weekend],” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Now we know that’s definitely not happening.”
If Canelo vs Saunders is pushed back even further, then there is a good chance it won’t happen at all. Reason being, is that a highly anticipated third contest between Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin has been agreed too for September 12th.
Needless to say, a third Golovkin contest would be far more lucrative for Canelo. It would also do much more to enhance his already impressive resume. Still, even with their contest without a definitive date, Hearn believes that his man is next in line no matter what.
“Will boxing return in June, July? If it does, there’s every chance that Billy Joe Saunders will fight Canelo Alvarez in that period, and the date of the Golovkin fight will be put back. I think with the whole disruption, the old Cinco de Mayo and [Mexican Independence Day] will weekend have to take a back seat.”
For now, while the world waits on a decision, Saunders continues to play his part to prepare himself for the biggest fight of his life.
“Right now, Billy Joe Saunders is actually in Vegas, training,” Hearn said. “We were supposed to have a press conference on Monday, to announce the Canelo Alvarez fight. He’s out training with Ben Davison and Josh Taylor, who has just had his fight postponed for May 2 as well. No one knows what they’re doing. It’s the moment where you’ve got to stay focused, you’ve got to stay disciplined. I believe Billy Joe Saunders will fight Canelo Alvarez, as long as the boxing schedule returns this summer.”