Billy Joe Saunders may or may not now be totally happy about the size of the ring he will share with Canelo Alvarez on Saturday night, but the threats of “going home” if the ring doesn’t measure up to the demands of Team-Saunders have at least gone away.
The fight will go ahead, Saunders will fight the biggest fight of his life in Texas. Still, Saunders is still far from a happy warrior. Or so it seems.
The three judges and the fact that not one of them will hail from the UK is what’s ailing the slick southpaw now. We all agree Saunders is NOT going to knock Canelo out – that would be a momentous shock, right up there with any stunner of an upset you care to mention.
Saunders’ best shot, in fact his only shot, is to outscore Canelo, outbox him comprehensively, to the point that his victory cannot be taken away from him. Sure, this too would be seen as a big upset by most, yet a Saunders points shocker is more conceivable than a BJS KO win.
So to Saunders’ dismay with the assignment of the three scoring officials. Apparently, Saunders was previously informed how one of the three judges would be British. According to a news story from ESPN, this will not be the case, and BJS is now openly stating how he hopes to get a “fair shake” from the three wise men on Saturday (reportedly, the three judges will be “neutral,” as in not from the UK or from Mexico).
“I’m happy I’ve got the shot,” BJS said. “I’m just asking for a fair shake. I might go there and get knocked out in one round, we may not need judges.
He might spark me in 30 seconds. If we do get to judges, if I win by two or three rounds then it is hard to get that unless they’re fair scorecards.”
So can Saunders, 30-0, get that fair shake from the judges? Canelo has been seen to have been given, shall we say, preferential treatment by the judges in past fights (ask Erislandy Lara and Miguel Cotto), and everyone agrees how likely it is Canelo will get the nod on the cards if Saturday’s fight is close. Saunders, to repeat, has to make it clearer than clear that he has just outboxed Canelo, and he has to do it in as many rounds as he can.
But can he do it? Will we see a controversial decision on Saturday? Will BJS be crying robbery on Saturday night (Sunday morning here in the UK)? Let’s hope everything is above board and fair. As Saunders says, maybe the judges will not be needed. If they are, it is to be hoped they perform their duty with honesty and with accurate pens or pencils.