Billy Joe Saunders is still complaining nonstop about the Canelo Alvarez fight, and he feels that he was just being strung along by Golden Boy Promotions without them being serious about signing him.
Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) is angry that Golden Boy offered him just eight weeks of training time, and what he refers to as “stupid money” to take the fight. Moreover, Billy Joe says he was never sent an offer for the Canelo fight.
He was told suddenly that they wanted him to take the fight on September 12. WBO super middleweight champion Saunders would have liked to have accepted the fight with Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs), but he didn’t want to be a “stepping stone” for him.
Ultimately, Saunders didn’t feel he could beat Canelo with just six weeks of training time to get ready.
He wanted between four and five months, as he felt he could beat Canelo with that amount of preparation time. So we’re talking 16 to 20 weeks of training.
Fighters that put in those types of training camps are usually obese, and they need to use the first six weeks as a fat farm to trim the blubber. Perhaps that’s why Saunders need four to five months.
Golden Boy’s budget was too limited
“We’re eight weeks out, they [Team Canelo] still haven’t given their opponent the proper preparation,” said Saunders to Seconds Out. “Four weeks will probably be press tours here, there and everywhere to promote the fight. So someone has got six weeks of training.
“Someone was saying, ‘You would be ready to fight in six weeks.’ Sorry, no. Never in my life have I done that, and I won’t be doing that for someone like Canelo.
“Of course, I’d love to fight him, but I’m not a stepping stone for Canelo Alvarez, and I’m not flattered because I’m sharing the ring with Canelo Alvarez. It certainly won’t work that way with me.
“Don’t world champion mean anything now? I’m not about the money, and I’m about winning. The fight was never directly. I read somewhere there are 20 opponents.
“They were never going to give me that shot because they’ve got a budget for an opponent to fight, and I refuse to get caught up in all that rubbish talk just to be used as a go-between,” said WBO super middleweight champion Saunders
Well, if Saunders was unhappy with the money, he should have said so from the beginning rather than wasting people’s time by blaming his decision not to take the fight on a lack of preparation time.
The excuse that Saunders is coming up with for him to pull his name out of consideration for the Alvarez clash is too numerous for them to be taken seriously. It could just come down to Saunders not believing he could win, and he didn’t want to have his perfect 29-0 record marred by Canelo.
Saunders wanted five months preparation time
“It’s never going to materialize. I’ll be honest with you,” said Billy Joe. “They say you’ve got to fight in September. Of course, I can make a date, but there’s a difference between making a date and preparing right and going and making a date and going to winning a fight.
“People need to understand. Of course, I can make the date and enter the ring, but I’m not 100% where I need to be. It’s impossible. For that sort of fight, you need your three, four, or five months of preparation, and then BOOM, you’re ready.
“I know they’re not going to give me five months guaranteed. I’m not asking for that. Don’t just contact me out of the blue during the lockdown after saying the fights off. ‘We’re looking to fight in November,’ they told my management.
“Let’s say you’re selling your house, and someone comes and cuts your money in half. It doesn’t add up just because it’s Canelo Alvarez. I could give a s*** if Canelo gets knocked out cold by someone in his next fight,” said Billy Joe.
Five months of training time is incredible because that’s way too much time for someone to need to get ready. Unless Saunders is 80 to 100+ pounds overweight, he wouldn’t need five months to get prepared for Canelo.
Saunders looks like he’s about 20 to 30 pounds over the 168-pound limit right now. It’s not an impossible task. But if Billy Joe lacks self-confidence and is afraid of getting beat, then it’s understandable why he chose not to take the fight with Canelo.
Saunders unwilling to fight Canelo for “stupid money”
“It doesn’t really bother me. I’m the champion,” the two-time world champion Billy Joe said. “I’m going to have to move on with my own career and stop waiting around.
“These sorts of people for me are hazards. They’re not fights where you can say you’re going to win. They’re never. I spoke to someone very, very high up, who knows a hell of a lot on that side of the fence on the Canelo Alvarez side of the fence.
“He’s already told me the budget for what they’re willing to give, and he’s already told me that you were never going to get the fight. So I’m going to get in there and fight for stupid money because it’s Corona and because they want to use that against me. No chance, mate.
“He hasn’t offered me anything. There was no offer to fight. When they mention my name in the mix, I pulled my name out because I can’t afford to go through the s***.
“No offer from Canelo Alvarez was sent over there to Matchroom. Zero. There was nothing sent over. There’s no reason why I wouldn’t be ready for the fight if they gave me proper notice, and if they want to treat me fair.
“If they had told me, ‘You’re going to be fighting in September’ when I left Vegas in May, then we’d be talking a different story now,” said Saunders.
Billy Joe isn’t saying how much money was offered to him by Golden Boy for the September 12 fight with Canelo. Whatever amount it was, you’ve got to believe it was a higher amount than Saunders has ever received in the past for a match.
If Saunders believed that he could win, he would have taken the small money for the fight, beaten Canelo, and then get a massive payday in the rematch. That’s how you do it if you think you can win. But if you zero self-confidence, then you pull out of the contest the way Saunders did.
Why didn’t Golden Boy approach Benavidez or Plant?
“I don’t know if the money had been the same, but I could have negotiated that, and I could have understood the circumstances,” Billy Joe said. “I think they’re looking at Jason Quigley now. They made a legitimate offer to Jason Quigley.
“That just shows the level and the pay packet they’re looking for. I’m a two-weight world champion, two-time world champion, undefeated. Why not the Callum Smith fight?
“Why ain’t [David] Benavidez fighting, and why isn’t Caleb Plant fighting? If they want big names, why haven’t they been offered the fight? It looks good because Billy Joe has removed himself.
“I removed myself for a reason because it’s a load of s***. There were no written offers to me, and if they think I’m going to sell myself very short, then they’re mistaken. For me, I’d rather go to bed knowing I won rather than going to bed thinking, ‘What a scumbag. I did that for money. I let that control me, and I didn’t give myself a proper chance of winning.’
“That’s not legacy. That’s selling yourself, and I refuse to do that. Anybody that knows me knows I would never sell myself for money,” said Saunders.
David Benavidez and Caleb Plant both fight for Premier Boxing Champions, which puts them in a different league than Canelo, who is with DAZN. That’s why those two weren’t offered the fight with Alvarez. It wouldn’t be doable.