WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KOs) let his opponent WBO champ Billy Joe Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) on Wednesday that he’s on a mission to make history when they fight on May 8th.
Saunders will be battling Canelo in a 12 round fight in the headline attraction on DAZN at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Canelo, 30, is on a quest to unify the 168-lb this year, and Saunders and IBF champion Caleb Plant are the only two fighters standing in his path to accomplish his visions.
Saunders told Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn today during the virtual press conference that he plans on throwing a spanner in the works to prevent Canelo from moving past him to take on Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) in September.
“I’ll be looking to put a spanner in the works for that,” said Saunders about his goal of preventing Canelo from facing Plant. “I’ll beat Canelo by being Billy Joe Saunders.
“Same as I did with previous champions when they were talking about other fights. They’ve got to beat me first.”
What the southpaw Saunders means by him beating Canelo by being himself is that he’s going to box him, be clever and outsmart him.
If this is Saunders is at his best, he could make a fool out of Canelo. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen Saunders firing on all eight cylinders since his win over David Lemieux in 2017, and that wasn’t against a good opponent.
It’s got to be more than a little bit insulting for Saunders to see Canelo looking past him towards a fight against Plant.
That tells you that Canelo is already counting him as a win, and he doesn’t take him seriously enough to hold back before putting together a fight with Plant.
But the lack of experience that Saunders has against talented opposition during his 12-year professional career could hold him back when he gets in the ring with Canelo.
It’s going to be a shock for Saunders, possibly a major one, when he realizes how much better Canelo is than the opposition that his promoters have carefully chosen for him during his career.
Fans can judge for themselves whether Saunders has been carefully matched by his clever promoters.
Saunders’ last 10 opponents:
- Martin Murray – 38-years-old
- Shefat Isufi
- Charles Adamu – journeyman
- Marcelo Esteban Coceres
- David Lemieux
- Willie Monroe Jr
- Artur Akavov
- Andy Lee
- Yoann Bloyer
- Chris Eubank Jr
Given the lackluster opposition that Saunders has exclusively been fighting during the last seven years of his career, there’s no telling how well he’ll deal with a fighter in Canelo’s class.
On the flip side, we haven’t seen Canelo fight a slick boxer since his fight with Erislandy Lara in 2014, and he arguably deserved to lose that fight.
Assuming that Saunders can follow what Lara did, he could beat Canelo on May 8th and ruin his superficial goal of unifying the super middleweight division.
“It’s really important to us to make history, and these fights are very important towards what we want to achieve in boxing,” Canelo said to Eddie Hearn.
“I’m very happy to be on this path, and we are training at 100 percent, as always, to reach our goals.”
Boxing fans would care more about Canelo if he forgot about him waning to “make history” by attempting to unify the 168-lb division and instead used this valuable time in his career by taking on David Benavidez Jermall Charlo, Gennady Golovkin, or Demetrius Andrade.
Fans would much prefer Canelo fighting those guys over Saunders and Caleb Plant.
“I know what Billy Joe Saunders brings. He’s a fast fighter who moves a lot. He’s a lefty — a difficult opponent,” Canelo said. “But at this level, I have to adapt to any style, and I’m ready to make history and ready for any style.”
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