In a case of wishful thinking, Billy Joe Saunders reacted to Canelo Alvarez’s comment about saying he doesn’t “care about the size of the ring” on Saturday by telling promoter Eddie Hearn to install his 22-foot ring that he’s asking for for the fight to take place.
Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) has been threatening to pull out of the fight because he wants a larger 22-foot ring rather than the 20-footer Canelo has in mind.
Earlier on Tuesday, Saunders’ father, Tom, said they wouldn’t budge, isn’t that it’s got to be the 22-footer or they’re flying back home. Interestingly, Tom says Team Canelo told them to go home.
Canelo sees Saunders bluffing, and he expects him to be there on Saturday when they battle in the main event at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
It would take a lot of courage for Saunders to walk away from the multimillionaire dollar payday he’ll get for the fight with Alvarez. Saunders will be kicking himself for the rest of his days if he walks away from this massive mega-million payday against Canelo over the ring size.
It’s not as if Saunders has a great chance of winning no matter how big the ring size is. Heck, they could set it up to where it’s a 50-foot ring, and Saunders is still going to get picked apart by Canelo.
That’s why it’s self-defeating for Saunders to be acting childish and making a big deal out of the ring. A 20-foot ring is considered the maximum for a pro boxing ring, so it’s strange that Saunders is pushing for a 22-footer.
If he walks out on this fight, he may never get another chance. One can’t imagine Gennadiy Golovkin agreeing to fight Saunders and risk him having him walk out on a fight the way his team is doing with Canelo.
Saunders sounding desperate
“Hello, people, I’m pleased that the issue is sorted because, as you see, I’ve tagged Eddie Hearn and Canelo in the last video, and the ring is not a problem. Thumbs are up,” said Billy Joe Saunders on social media about wanting a 22-foot ring for Saturday.
“Eddie, get the [22-foot] ring in, mate,” said Saunders.
Saunders is basing his comments about the ring issue being sorted on this remark from Canelo on Tuesday to the media:
“I don’t care about the size of the ring; I’m just going to go in there and do my job,” said Alvarez.
It’s safe to say that Saunders won’t get the 22-foot ring that he’s asking for because Canelo isn’t the type to back down when being pressured. If anything, Saunders is hardening Canelo’s stance by coming at him the way he’s doing.
Unpopular B-side fighters like Saunders have no room to coerce a superstar like Canelo. Interestingly, Saunders is wasting his time doing this because he’s going to look bad in the end when he backs down and agrees to the 20-foot ring.
Having a race track isn’t going to help Saunders win this fight with Canelo because the judges aren’t going to score it for him if he’s spoiling for 12 rounds.
If Saunders had the talent and popularity of Floyd Mayweather Jr, then maybe he could win a decision against Canelo, but he doesn’t. Saunders doesn’t have that kind of popularity or talent.
He’s just a guy that won his WBO super middleweight belt against a fighter named Shefat Isufi, and he’s fought mediocre opposition ever since picking up the strap.
Davies expects Saunders to walk away
“They mean it; that’s the traveler’s mentality,” said Gareth Davies to iFL TV about Saunders walking away if he doesn’t get the 22-foot ring he was asking for to fight Canelo.
“They want a fair fight, and they deserve a bigger ring. It’ll make for a better fight with a bigger ring. I don’t think Canelo should be able to control the controllable in that way.
“But I imagine anyone that looked at the contract and seen a 20-foot ring would have had alarm bells ringing because Billy Joe needs the space to work, and that’s how he fights.
“He needs that for his game plan undoubtedly, so I do hope we get a resolution. I can’t believe with DAZN wanting the fight to go ahead; it’s a big deal for them.
“Eddie Hearn, it’s a big deal for him with him promoting Canelo Alvarez. They’re not going to find a resolution for this.
“This is Tuesday; this has got to be resolved by Wednesday for this fight to go ahead because they [Team Saunders] will walk away.
“I know what they’re like. Billy Joe Saunders will go, ‘Fine, I won’t do it.’ He won’t care about taking flak with people. He will want the ring that they say is fair for the fight, and I back them on that.
“I back them with Billy Joe in this contest from what I’ve seen of them. It’s about legacy for him, this fight. I think they’ll go ahead on Saturday; I think they’ll sort it out.
“I just hope that he doesn’t buckle mentally and goes in there and gives the greatest account of himself that he can ever give, and he will go out on his shield.
“He’s a fighting man through and through; he’s a win at all costs, guy. I’ve never seen that he has any quit in him whatsoever, but he’s never been in with this level of opponent ever. It’s the biggest challenge of his life, and it’s fascinating because he’s so skilled.
“He’s probably going to be hit harder and more than anyone has ever hit him as well. It’s a day of destiny, and it’s a time to write his own destiny now,” said Davies in pouring on the praise for Saunders.
I’m afraid I have to disagree with Davies about Saunders walking away from the fight if he doesn’t get his way. He’s not going to walk away from the fight because he’s too much money.
We’ll see Billy Joe on Saturday in the 20-foot ring, and he’ll try his best. Saunders should be happy that Canelo is insisting they fight in a 20-foot ring because at least now, he’ll have an excuse afterward.