By: Hans Themistode
The date is set and the time is also locked in. The only thing remaining is the venue. Yet, according to reports, that appears to be on the verge of being settled upon as well.
As first reported by Mike Coppinger of The Athletic, Canelo Alvarez vs Billy Joe Saunders will take place at either AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas, or Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Although both venues are currently being discussed, AT&T stadium could have the edge. Earlier this week, Texas governor Greg Abbott lifted the mask mandate. Meaning, residents of the state were no longer required to wear masks whenever they left their homes. In addition to that, Abbott also reopened businesses at 100% capacity.
While his ruling has been heavily criticized, Abbott has stuck to his guns. His stubbornness may have forced many to question his sanity but the amount of dollars that a fight in Texas could generate in an arena that could easily fill over 80,000 could edge his state ahead of Nevada where safety protocols are still in place.
For Alvarez, even with his showdown against Saunders roughly nine weeks away, the pound-for-pound star hasn’t begun his training camp just yet. Less than one week ago, the Mexican native pounded no-hoper Avni Yildirim via third-round stoppage at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Florida.
Following the easy win, Alvarez revealed that he would take only one week off before he got himself ready for Saunders.
As for the aforementioned Saunders, on the other hand, he last fought in December of 2020, easily outpointing former title challenger Martin Murray over 12 rounds.
By: Hans Themistode
Fighting on the elite level has provided fighters with more time for leisurely fun.
Normally, when a fighter first jumps onto the scene, they can find themselves fighting anywhere from five to ten times per year. Once they’ve established themselves on the very good to elite level, the ring appearances are few and far between. On most occasions, fighters at the very top of their respective divisions enter the ring twice during a calendar year. Others, elect to fight just once.
In short, after fighting for most of their lives, boxers enjoy sitting back and enjoying the fruits of their labor.
For Canelo Alvarez, having just taken care of business against Avni Yildirim via third-round stoppage this past weekend, the unified super middleweight champion has already secured his next opponent in Billy Joe Saunders. The two are locked in to face off on May 8th, ten weeks from now.
While that may seem like a quick turnaround for most, Alvarez revealed that he never usually takes a lot of time off.
“I’m always training,” said Alvarez following his knockout over Yildirim at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Florida. “I’m active. Just one week off and come back to train and get ready for May 8th.”
According to Alvarez, his normal workload of fighting twice a year will be changed this time around. With the win over Yildirim already in his back pocket and with Saunders up next, Alvarez said he expects to likely fight two more times this year. Those dates would be in September and then in December to close out the year.
In Saunders, Alvarez faces one of the more trickier styles in the entire division. The WBO titlist has gained the respect of both the Mexican star and his trainer, Eddy Reynoso.
“Saunders is a very difficult opponent,” said Alvarez. “He brings a lot of different qualities to the ring but I am a fighter with a lot of experience and I’ll be ready come May 8th.”
The British native was last in the ring in early December doing what he does best, outboxing his opponents and making them look silly as they missed shot after shot. Martin Murray, his most recent foe, continued that trend as he managed to win only two rounds on one judge’s scorecards but was completely shutout on the remaining two scorecards.
Performances such as those, has led Saunders to a showdown with the consensus best fighter in the world in roughly two and a half months.
By: Hans Themistode
At one point, the blueprint to defeating unified super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez was clear as day.
Keep your distance, incorporate a lot of movement and pot shot him all night long. In short, the Mexican star could be thoroughly outboxed.
Floyd Mayweather was the first to give users the key to open the door to beating Alvarez in 2013. Despite the suspect scorecards, Mayweather won in lopsided fashion. Erislandy Lara attempted to use the same tactics when they fought one year later. But while Alvarez was given the nod, the vast majority of the boxing public believes that he was given a huge gift when the Judes ruled their bout in his favor.
With Alvarez announcing that he will be taking on WBO belt holder Billy Joe Saunders on May 8th, many are under the assumption that Alvarez could be in true danger of picking up the second loss of his career.
While the skills of Saunders did at one point open the door to defeating the Mexican star, at this stage, Alvarez has changed the locks.
“I’m way better. Way better,” said Alvarez following his win over Avni Yildirim.
Alvarez, 30, made things look entirely too easy at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Florida last night. Yildirim, his WBC mandatory challenger, was thoroughly beaten down over the course of three rounds. Although it was impressive, supporters of Saunders will point to the pure boxing style of Saunders as opposed to the plodding, come-forward style of Yildirim.
The British native is fresh off a one-sided unanimous decision victory over former title challenger Martin Murray in late December. Following the win, Saunders did what he always does, meaning, he dared Alvarez to step up and face him.
For years now, Saunders has insisted that the pound-for-pound star built his resume on the backs of great fighters who were no longer at their peak by the time Alvarez got his hands on them.
At 31, Saunders is smack dab in the middle of his prime. That, along with his tricky style, is the reason why he believes Alvarez was always hesitant to face him.
Those sentiments however, were always considered laughable to Alvarez. If Saunders, or anyone else for that matter, believes that he has the same weaknesses that he had as a young fighter, they must not have been watching his progression all of these years.
“I’m a more mature fighter, I’m more a complete fighter. I have much more experience. I’m in my best moment.”
By: Hans Themistode
No matter who you spoke to, they all said the same thing. That is, Avni Yildirim had no chance of defeating unified super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez. Not only was he given virtually no chance at winning but the mere thought of the pair sharing the ring with one another was thought to be ludicrous.
From the moment the opening bell rang, the thoughts of everyone was proven to be factual.
Alvarez wasted no time in pummeling his man in front of a socially distanced crowd at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Florida.
For some perplexing reason, Yildirim simply walked forward and absorbed the punishing blows of his man without throwing anything back in return.
With a clear round for Alvarez already in the bank, the pound for pound star turned things up a notch in round two, dropping his man with a clean one, two. While Yildirim managed to stumble back to his feet, he would take another pounding in round three.
Throughout the duration of the round, the referee watched closely as Yildirim was taking a hellacious beating. By the time Yildirim walked back to his corner, his coaches had already made up their mind and pulled their man from the contest before the start of round four.
With the win officially under his belt, Alvarez revealed what many of us already knew. That he was taking on WBO belt holder Billy Joe Saunders on May 8th.
Saunders was originally set to have a front row seat to watch Alvarez up close and personal, however, due to COVID-19 protocols and travel restrictions, the British native found it impossible to actually appear in Miami Florida in person.
The long time belt holder was always believed to be next for Alvarez, all that was needed was for the Mexican product to take care of business.
Now, with his next opponent set in stone, Alvarez will look to add a third world title to the three currently draped around his shoulders.
By: Hans Themistode
Some people believe it will be Caleb Plant. Others are under the impression that David Benavidez will be the one to get it done. A small contingent of fans speculates that Gennadiy Golovkin will eventually knock him off his high horse.
Regardless of how great any of those fighters are, promoter Eddie Hearn doesn’t believe any of them have much of a chance against unified super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez. That said, he knows exactly who can get the job done.
“I’ll tell you one thing, if there’s anyone in the division that will beat or could beat Canelo Alvarez, I think it’s Billy Joe Saunders,” said Hearn during an interview with Fight Hub TV.
Hearn’s confidence in the WBO super middleweight titlist isn’t simply because of his undefeated record. No, having spent years watching Saunders over the course of his career, Hearn has witnessed the British product outbox opponents without seemingly breaking a sweat. That, and his tendency to not care who he’s facing on any night, is the reason why Hearn is firmly standing in his corner.
“He has the style and movement. He also has something different in his head, no fear. He’s an underdog in the fight of course but he’s a bit crazy. He won’t have fear and he’s slick.”
In just a few short months, Hearn will find out if he was spot on in his predictions, or if Alvarez will move one step closer to becoming the first undisputed super-middleweight of all time.
First things first however, Alvarez has to take care of business this Saturday night against Avni Yildirim at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Florida. While most are expecting the Turkish native to get annihilated, Hearn believes he has more than just a puncher’s chance.
“With Yildirim, no fear, he’ll let his hands go but that’s very dangerous. Yildirim can punch and has plenty of heart and guts. I know he’s a massive underdog but he’s not coming to survive. He knows the only way to beat Canelo is to fight fire with fire.”
Still, even with Hearn singing his praises, the long-time promoter ultimately believes that at some point, Alvarez will score the knockout win which would then subsequently lead to a unification contest between Alvarez and of course, Saunders.
“When Canelo knocks him out, we’ll go in the ring and celebrate.”
By: Hans Themistode
According to Billy Joe Saunders, Canelo Alvarez has fooled everyone.
His pound for pound standing, world championship status and future Hall of Fame stature has all been built on a fraudulent resume.
“He’s boxed all of the greats and beaten all of the greats, at the end of their careers,” said Saunders to Mike Coppinger. “His team is very good at picking people at the end of their careers. They’re very, very good at picking people just on the downward spiral.”
At the age of 31, Saunders is presumably smack-dab in the middle of his prime. The British native has picked up world titles in multiple weight classes and has always been lauded for his skillset. However, he has also been highly criticized for his lack of effort in several of his contests.
By all accounts, Saunders lackluster showings, including his most recent win against Martin Murray in early December, have made him a prime candidate to take on Alvarez. After spending years calling for a showdown between the pair, Saunders has finally gotten his wish as they are slated to face one another in early May.
While Saunders would love to believe that he was chosen due to his highly thought of skills and WBO title, he’s more so under the impression that he was given the opportunity due to team Alvarez believing he’s a shot fighter. Regardless of their reasoning, Saunders is ready to prove that their thought process was completely erroneous.
“Maybe I look like that to them. Maybe they’ve seen my fights against (Martin) Murray, and, I don’t know the one before but no, no, no my friend. That’s because I haven’t got the fire in my belly to get up for them because I can beat them with two or three weeks notice training.”
Saunders lack of motivation and subsequent half-ass training camps showed in many of his fights. This time around however, the 31-year-old plans on pushing himself to the absolute limit.
The money and fame that comes along with a win over the consensus best fighter in the world in Canelo Alvarez is enough to motivate anyone. In Saunders case though, he could care less about the truckloads of money currently being sent to his house. The amount of torture he is willing to endure to secure the victory come May will prove to many what he has been saying all along, that he’s one of the best fighters in the world.
“My life for the next three months is absolutely hell. I’m putting myself through hell and back and I’m prepared to live in hell every single day to win. Forget about the money. I want to win, I need to win and it’s a must thing for me to win.”
By: Hans Themistode
The moment Canelo Alvarez announced his move to the super middleweight division, he all along intended on becoming an undisputed belt holder. Now, he’ll apparently move one step closer in just a few short months.
As first reported by The Athletic, both Alvarez and WBO titlist Billy Joe Saunders have officially agreed to face one another on either May 1st or May 8th in the United States. Their deal, of course, is predicated on Alvarez’s ability to take care of business in his next ring appearance.
Roughly one month from today, Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) is scheduled to take on mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim on February 27th, at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida. Although the Turkish native is a respected contender in the division, the overwhelming thought process surrounding their showdown is that Alvarez will simply walk right through him.
Should he do just that, Saunders will look to avoid the fate of his fellow countrymen in Callum Smith and his poor performance against Alvarez just one month ago.
On a cold December night at the Alamodome in San Antonio Texas, Alvarez systemically broke Smith down over the course of 12 rounds. The win for the Mexican star not only blemished the previously undefeated record of Smith but it also allowed Alvarez to lace his waist with the WBA, WBC and Ring magazine super middleweight titles.
As for Saunders, he has long called for a shot at the pound-for-pound star. Before reports surfaced of his dream contest coming to fruition, Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) seemingly lost his chance at facing Alvarez several months ago as he was suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control due to a video which depicted Saunders punching a heavy bag while telling viewers that this is how you should hit your wife when she gets on your nerves during quarantine. Since then, Saunders has donated money and has vowed to be a better man.
Besides his transgressions outside the ring, Saunders proved that he was still difficult to deal with inside of it as he handed former multiple-time title challenger Martin Murray a lopsided loss in early December.
Before Saunders officially came to terms with Alvarez on a fight deal, the two-division world champion believed he was leading the way for a possible showdown. In an attempt to be as prepared as possible, Saunders expressed a desire to return to the ring against WBO middleweight titlist Demetrius Andrade with the winner of their showdown moving on to face Alvarez.
While it’s unclear if Saunders will in fact face Andrade before taking on Alvarez, the British product has finally landed the fight he craved most.
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.”
By: Hans Themistode
There was a litany of names spewed across the desk of Canelo Alvarez roughly a month ago. Some that were world champions and some that were simply interesting names. After mulling over his options, Alvarez attempted to make his 2020 ring debut against IBF super middleweight titleholder Caleb Plant.
Those plans however, never materialized as there reportedly wasn’t enough time to promote a fight of that magnitude. With several notable names still ready, willing and able to take him on – Alvarez instead opted to face the much larger Smith.
For the Mexican product, taking Smith on this Saturday night was a complete no brainer. It wasn’t simply because he holds both the WBA and Ring magazine titles, but more so because of how highly Alvarez ranks the British star.
“He’s ranked number one at 168 pounds,” said Alvarez during an interview with IFL TV. “We did have conversations with others but unfortunately it did not happen. Fortunately though, we did get this fight.”
Although a win over Smith isn’t guaranteed, Alvarez only envisions himself as the winner. Should that be the case, the 30-year-old pound for pound star has placed a target on the back of the other 168 pound champions.
“I want to unify all of the titles. That is our plan. Next year that is what we will be working on.”
Amongst those aforementioned champions at 168 pounds is current WBO titlist, Billy Joe Saunders. Both Alvarez and Saunders were originally set to meet earlier in the year. That of course, was immediately pushed to the wayside due to a combination of COVID-19 and the boxing license of Saunders getting suspended due to a viral video of the British native hitting a heavy bag while giving instructions on how to punch your wife should she annoy you too much during quarantine.
After speaking with the British Boxing Board of Control and paying 25,000 pounds to a domestic abuse charity, Saunders was officially cleared. Earlier this month, he kept his undefeated record intact by cruising past long faded contender Martin Murray.
At the moment, Saunders is still in possession of the WBO title. As long as Alvarez takes of business come this Saturday night, he has no issue with circling back to the negotiating table to take on either Saunders or whoever else has his world title.
“That’s the idea. He has the WBO title and we’re going after those titles. It doesn’t matter who has them. That’s the idea, to go after those titles.”
By: Hans Themistode
WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders is in the minority. The overwhelming thought process surrounding WBO welterweight titlist Terence Crawford and his showdown against former belt holder Kell Brook tomorrow night, is that it will be an easy night at the office for the undefeated champion.
Brook, 34, hasn’t boxed at the 147 pound welterweight limit since a 2017 loss at the hands of Errol Spence Jr. which resulted in the end of his title reign. Despite years of fighting one weight class higher, Brook decided that an opportunity to face Crawford was simply too good to pass up on and elected to move back down.
Oddsmakers are under the belief that the move for Brook won’t pay dividends as he’s been penciled as roughly a 20-1 underdog. Regardless of those odds, Saunders is standing right behind his countrymen.
“I believe if his mind is right then I’m backing him,” said Saunders to IFL TV during a recent interview. “He’s in the best shape of his life.”
Before Brook (39-2, 27 KOs) suffered back to back broken orbital bones which resulted in back-to-back defeats, the British product was viewed as one of the best welterweights in the world. In August of 2014, Brook made the long trek to make his American debut. On the night, the now 34-year-old handed former two time champion Shawn Porter the first loss of his career.
Saunders belief in Brook doesn’t stem from simply their friendship. Despite being separated by three weight classes, Saunders has spent time in the ring with the former titlist to help his preparation. Although he refrained from giving the exact details of their sparring sessions, Saunders was left impressed with everything that Brook did in the ring. Including carrying enough power to make the much bigger Saunders take notice.
“I think Terence Crawford is pound for pound number one but I’ve sparred Kell. Kell is a very, very good puncher. You don’t see him coming and I just think that if Kell Brook shows up the best that he can turn up then we got a new world champion.”
By: Hans Themistode
With Canelo Alvarez presumably in need of a new opponent for his first ring appearance of the year, WBA Light Heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol, has attempted to throw his name into the mix.
Before COVID-19, placed a stranglehold on the entire sports world, WBO Super Middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders scored the golden ticket. For Saunders however, it wasn’t COVID-19 that got in his way for his dream contest, but it was actually himself.
During this worldwide pandemic, Saunders thought it would be funny to post a video telling men how to physically abuse their spouse.
Saunders found it hilarious, but no one else did as his boxing license was immediately suspended. Now that he might have taken himself out of the mix, Bivol wants to replace him.
“I’ve said now for over a year that I’m ready, willing and able to move down to super middleweight and fight Canelo,” said Bivol. “I have been training throughout the COVID-19 crisis and have watched on social media that Canelo has as well.”
“I know that my team and Golden Boy Promotions have discussed this option. We are willing to make the fight on very reasonable financial terms. My team understands that unlike many other opponents, my goal is not the payday, but to face the best in boxing today. I know I can beat him and the real rewards will come after this fight.”
Even before Saunders was penciled in as an opponent, many of the top names in the sport turned Alvarez down. Opportunities such as facing a pound for pound great fighter in his prime don’t come often. But for fighters such as WBA Super Middleweight champ Callum Smith, the money just wasn’t enough. Bivol though, is willing to take a discount.
Don’t misunderstand Bivol’s point of view. Sure he wants to get paid, we all do, don’t we? But if he can lock down a fight with Alvarez and actually pull off the win, he’ll find himself swimming in cash in no time.
Bivol has a slight eye on the gold at the end of the Canelo rainbow. But more importantly, if he does land the mega showdown, he’ll finally have a career defining fight.
“We are willing to work out a much more reasonable deal than what was paid to Canelo’s recent opponents to make this fight. For Dmitry it’s more about the opportunity to dethrone one of the very best fighters in the world.”
“I have heard that DAZN and all other parties involved are supportive of this fight. But whenever the name is brought up to Canelo, he says he would never do it. However I don’t know how much truth there is to this. It would be great to know if he is ready to fight other top champions in his division. One’s that are on the same network and are ready to make a simple and appropriate deal. I strongly believe that Dmitry Bivol at Super Middleweight is the toughest test for Canelo.”
“Dmitry wants to fight the best and Canelo is all the way at the top of that list right now. This fight will have to happen sooner or later. The fans want to see a fight where Canelo will really be tested.”
By: Hans Themistode
When it was first announced that Canelo Alvarez would be taking on Billy Joe Saunders on May 2nd, for Saunders WBO Super Middleweight title, the news was met with ambivalence.
Sure Saunders has always flashed greatness in the ring. But he’s also shown to have the capability to completely stink up the joint.
After back to back impressive wins over Willie Monroe Jr and. David Lemieux, Saunders had never seen his stock look any higher. But in a pattern that has defined his career, Saunders followed up those huge wins with lackluster performances against Shefat Isufi and Marcelo Esteban. Saunders managed to pull out the win in both contests, but he hardly looked impressive.
Regardless of his recent performances however, Saunders has now found himself in the biggest fight of his career.
With Saunders making the poor choice of releasing a video depicting how to physically abuse your wife, his boxing license has been immediately taken away. He isn’t completely out of the running to land a fight with Canelo as a meeting to discuss his future has been set, but there is one fighter who would rather them not face off at all.
“It would be a more exciting fight with me [against Canelo] rather than Saunders or Smith,” said Eubank Jr.”
“The entire world knows that Saunders would run for 12 rounds in a boring fight. Then would be caught and knocked out. That is not a fight I’m interested in seeing. I don’t get the interest. Saunders has a belt which is the only reason he has this opportunity but, who knows, maybe that belt won’t be with him for much longer if he’s banned after what he’s done.”
Eubank Jr has been called a lot of things. Not very skilled, a front runner and even a non contender but never a boring fighter. But a fight between himself and Canelo seems far from likely. Another fighter who also found himself on the short list of opponents for Canelo’s next ring appearance was WBA Super Middleweight champion Callum Smith.
While many believe that the tall, lanky but also hard hitting Smith would cause Canelo a ton of trouble, Eubank Jr see’s that matchup playing out in yet another easy victory for Canelo.
“Smith’s performance against John Ryder? We saw a lot of weaknesses in his game. Canelo is a far superior version of Ryder in terms of his style – come-forward, inside-fighting. Smith couldn’t deal with that against Ryder so what are they thinking? He barely got past Ryder. I think Ryder won that fight.”
By: Hans Themistode
Billy Joe Saunders scored the golden ticket. Then, in true Billy Joe Saunders like fashion, he lost it. Or at least that’s what it seems like.
Getting a contest against pound for pound star Canelo Alvarez isn’t easy. When you campaign at three different weight classes, the options are endless. Yet, Saunders did enough both in the ring, and with his words, to land the biggest fight of his career.
On May 2nd, in Las Vegas Nevada, Saunders was set to take on Alvarez with his WBO Super Middleweight title on the line. Even with the Coronavirus pandemic pressing pause on all sporting events around the world, Saunders had nothing to worry about. Alvarez already agreed to fight him. So when boxing officially opened its doors, Saunders was the first man in line to take on boxing’s biggest star.
The WBO Super Middleweight champion didn’t need to do anything. Just find a way to stay in shape and prepare for the fight of his life.
Hell, if Saunders simply locked himself inside of his room and chose not to re-emerge until the date of the fight, he would be a happy man. But, with boredom getting the best of him, Saunders thought it would be funny to release a video of himself punching a heavy bag.
Seems innocent right?
That would be true until you realize Saunders made said heavy bag play the role of wives all over the world. With everyone quarantining at home to prevent the spread of the virus, Saunders thought it would be funny to record a video of what all husbands should do to their wives should they get on their nerves too much.
Not only did several people find it not funny, but now, Saunders had his boxing license taken away.
It’s too early to tell, but his chances of facing Alvarez now looks a bit bleak.
So what should Alvarez do? If Saunders is officially out, then who should replace him? Keep reading to find out some viable options.
Before the Coronavirus sent boxing to the sidelines, not only was Alvarez set to take on Saunders, but he was also ready to fight fellow Middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin for a third time. But with boxing on an indefinite hiatus, and with Saunders seemingly out as an opponent, then why not just jump straight into a contest against Golovkin?
If we’re lucky, boxing will return during the second half of the year, sometime in the fall. Although Alvarez usually gets two fights in per year, he could be forced to settle for one. If that’s the case, then allow these two to put an end to their rivalry once and for all.
23 year old Jaime Munguia has some pretty big aspirations. Not only does he want to win a world title in his second weight class, but he also wants to be known as one of the greatest Mexican fighters ever. He can accomplish the first part of his goals with some careful matchmaking. But in order to achieve the second part, he’ll need to take on some big names. In the case of Canelo Alvarez, it doesn’t get any bigger.
If Alvarez is steadfast on fighting twice this year and doesn’t simply want a soft touch, then a fight against Munguia makes sense.
By: Hans Themistode
For the better part of four years, WBO Super Middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders spent the vast majority of his time calling out Canelo Alvarez. After years of employing the same tactics, Saunders finally got his wish. A date with Alvarez on May 2nd with Saunders WBO title on the line.
Now, ironically enough, Saunders used his words to land the biggest fight of his career. But now, his words are about to cost him.
With the entire world seemingly on quarantine thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, Saunders thought it would be funny to share a video of what men should do to their female spouses should they get on their nerves too much during isolation.
Saunders quickly found out that he was the only one in the room laughing.
Domestic violence has always been a hot button topic. Too many athletes have found themselves in trouble for simply failing to keep their hands to themselves. Saunders may not have actually put his hands on a female, but everyone, including his promoter Eddie Hearn is shaking their head at him.
“I was appalled really,” said Hearn. “It was so idiotic, it was so frustrating because I know Billy well. He’s a really good kid, with a really good heart … but every now and again he does the most stupid things.”
“It’s unacceptable for Joe Bloggs down the street to do it. It’s much more unacceptable for a world champion boxer to be doing it. People who are in abusive relationships are watching that video. You cannot do it, it’s unacceptable.”
Unfortunately, domestic violence is a common occurrence. Yet, you might be willing to bet that one woman has never had to deal with it. That would be arguably the best female boxer in the world, Claressa Shields. With two gold medals, world titles in three different weight classes and an undefeated record, you would have to be crazy to even think about putting your hands on Shields.
While she isn’t worried about herself. She did offer a bit of advice to all the ladies in abusive relationships.
Necessary? Also yes.
Another fighter who decided to jump all over Billy Joe Saunders is former WBO Featherweight champion Heather Hardy.
“This is not funny,” Hardy wrote in a Tweet that she has since deleted. “I can’t imagine the number of people quarantined in abusive and dangerous spaces right now, and this dumb piece of sh*t makes a joke about ‘how to hit your annoying wife.”
The words of Hardy, Shields and Hearn were sharp, but Saunders really felt it when his boxing license was suspended.
“Having considered comments made by Billy Joe Saunders on social media,” the BBBofC said in a statement, “we have suspended his boxer’s license pending a hearing under the board’s misconduct regulation, at a time and venue to be confirmed as soon as possible.”
Saunders has always been known as having thick skin and unapologetic. But this time around, he’s noticed that he made a huge mistake.
For what it’s worth, the boxing community has seemingly appreciated the apology. Even Hardy came around and apparently wants to sweep things under the rug.
While Hardy may not think that Saunders is “dick head” the rest of the world may still feel that way. He has always been perceived in an unfavorable light and this situation certainly doesn’t help.
If Saunders hopes to get into the good graces of everyone he’ll need to take even more action. That would include becoming a social advocate against domestic violence.
As for his contest with Canelo, unless he can somehow get his license back, he may have lost the biggest fight of his career before it even started.
By: Hans Themistode
Canelo Alvarez has been called many names. A champion, a warrior, maybe even a prima-donna. But an underachiever? Never.
When Alvarez first came onto the boxing scene in 2005, he was viewed as a good fighter.
Wins over Matthew Hatton and Ryan Rhodes pushed him from good to very good. While victories over Carlos Baldomir and Josesito Lopez nudged him to the great category.
In early 2013, Alvarez seemingly hit his peak. He was fresh off a win against Shane Mosley and managed to unify the Super Welterweight division with a close win over Austin Trout.
For as great as Alvarez was, it seemed to be time to place him amongst the all-time greats. But a contest against Floyd Mayweather put an end to that thought as Alvarez lost virtually every round.
A loss as embarrassing as that one, often carries terrible after effects on the rest of a fighters career.
Simply put, once you’ve been dominated in that fashion, it just isn’t easy to bounce back from it.
Yet, in the case of Alvarez, that is exactly what he did. He picked up quick wins against Alfredo Angulo and Erislandy Lara in 2014. He then followed that up with even better wins against James Kirkland and Miguel Cotto.
But a funny thing happened during the course of those big wins. He got better and better.
The butt kicking that Alvarez suffered at the hands of Mayweather apparently molded him into a much better fighter. Some would even venture to say that he stole a few things from Mayweather and placed them into his own game.
With wins over Gennadiy Golovkin, Daniel Jacobs and Sergey Kovalev, it’s safe to say that it doesn’t seem as though Alvarez is a finished product just yet. But according to his next opponent WBO Super Middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders, that’s an idiotic statement.
“For me it’s all about winning. I really do rate him. I think that he’s a brilliant fighter, he’s complete, but the thing is – I believe that we’ve seen the best of him. We haven’t seen the best of me yet. I have seen the absolute best of him. The Golovkin fight twice, the Danny Jacobs fight, he’s not going to get any better than that.”
To say that Saunders isn’t exactly the biggest fan of Alvarez would be putting it mildly. For years, he’s called his man every bad word in the dictionary, but it’s worked. He’s trash talked his way to the biggest fight of his career and is now in a position where he has to back his words up.
Still, even with all of the bad blood between them Saunders is no fool. The trash talking that he used to score a fight with Alvarez paid off. But he knows exactly what he’s dealing with.
“I rate him as the best pound-for-pound at the moment. For me to defeat him, it’s just not about money. Don’t get me wrong, we’re all in it for the money. But for me, if they were to say, ‘you’re definitely going to win, but you’re going to go home and you’re not having a penny, I’d say ‘yes, let’s do that,'” Saunders said on Instagram Live.
“I believe on my night, as long as everything is bang on right for me, I believe I’ve got the beating of Canelo Alvarez, but he’s a brilliant champion. You have to beat the best to be the best.”
Saunders, unlike Canelo, has been viewed as a bit of an underachiever. One minute he looks unbeatable just as he did in his wins against Andy Lee, Willie Monroe Jr and David Lemieux. Other times, like in his dreadful performance against Marcelo Coceres, you wonder how he got his hands on a world title to begin with.
Both Alvarez had been slated to face off against one another on May 2nd, however, with the Coronavirus currently putting a halt on seemingly everything, their contest has been pushed back to an unspecified date.
Regardless of when they actually do step into the ring against one another, Saunders will need to resemble the best version of himself if he expects to leave with a victory on the night.