Promoter Eddie Hearn says Billy Joe Saunders has chosen to refuse to do anything with the media this week to create interest in his fight with Canelo Alvarez on May 8th at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
With Billy Joe (30-0, 14 KOs) opting to do nothing with the media, it’s put everything on Canelo’s shoulders, and he’s doing the hard work giving interviews and talking about the fight, according to Hearn.
Hearn isn’t quite sure why WBO super middleweight champion Saunders isn’t doing his part to work with the media this week, but it’s possible that he’s unhappy with the attention he’s given to the superstar Canelo, who is the A-side for this fight.
Saunders, 31, wanted a British judge to be among the three judges, but it’s not happening. Hearn has no control over the judging panel in terms of selecting which countries they come from.
It’s interesting that Saunders is choosing not to put any effort into helping promote the fight, but it would be a different story if it were on pay-per-view. With the fight being shown DAZN, there’s less of a need for Saunders to put in the hard work promoting the fight.
If this is a strategic move by Saunders to conserve his energy for the fight by not draining himself by giving interviews, it still likely won’t work.
The Saunders that we saw against 38-year-old Martin Murray in his last fight in December, and in his two previous fights against Marcelo Esteban Coceres and Shefat Isufi, won’t have much of a chance against Canelo.
Saunders is a good fighter, but not an elite-level guy. He’s a guy that holds a belt because he was matched against a marginal fighter in Shefat Isufi.
If Saunders had to earn the WBO title by beating David Benavidez, he wouldn’t likely be a champion.
Billy Joe refuses to do media
“They [Saunders] feel I’m favoring Canelo Alvarez. I’m not favoring Canelo Alvarez,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV. “Billy Joe has basically refused to do any media, so Canelo is doing all the media.
So, of course, the media attention is on Canelo Alvarez because Billy doesn’t want to do anything. He just doesn’t want to do any media. So this week he’s refused to do any media. Listen, that’s alright. It’s not unusual. Sometimes people don’t want to do it. They want to focus on the fight.
“Of course, you’re talking about a pound-for-pound star [Canelo] that everyone is talking about, and he’s doing bucketfuls of media,” said Hearn about Alvarez doing all the promoting for his fight with Saunders by doing the media work.
“So when people say, ‘I’m not hearing anything about Billy Joe,’ it’s because he’s not doing anything. He’s refused to post on social media.
“He doesn’t want to do any media, that’s fine,” said Hearn about Saunders. “He’s focused on the fight, that’s good. This is probably going to be good for Billy Joe. If he’s happy and carefree, maybe he won’t go in there and put on a great performance.
“There’s equal representation, but one [Canelo] is getting more attention [by the media] because he’s doing all the media,” said Hearn on why Canelo is getting more attention than Billy Joe.
Saunders should be working hard in helping to promote the fight because it would mean more boxing fans would get a chance to see him fight.
If the idea is for Saunders to create other opportunities for him in the future, he’s going about it the wrong way by being passive-aggressive.
Try to imagine a social media expert like Jake Paul choosing to not promote his own fight for whatever reason.
Jake wouldn’t take that kind of a stance because he would be undermining himself. He would take full advantage of his moment in the spotlight, but we’re not seeing that with Saunders.
Canelo is expected to beat Saunders with ease on May 8th, and it’s too bad that Billy Joe doesn’t want to take the high road by showing his best self to the fans and the media as he finishes up what will likely be his last days as a world champion.
It’s a bad look on Saunders part that he’s acting bitter, complaining, and not show the class that we’re seeing from Canelo.
Saunders would look better if he kept his feelings hidden because even if he was getting the second class treatment as the B-side in the promotion, he’s so much better off not complaining and looking like a spoiled sport.
For future promoters that might be considering whether they’d want to do business with Saunders, they might choose to steer clear of him if they think he won’t help promote the fights.
Hearn gave Saunders the Canelo fight
“I think a little bit of it is him and Tyson want to wrap themselves up, it’s ‘us against the world’ mentality, which I think is great for them,” said Hearn on why Saunders is choosing to be reluctant about giving interviews.
“I’ve done everything I can for Billy Joe Saunders. I’ve backed him when people said I shouldn’t back him. I’ve delivered for him when others couldn’t deliver for him.
“I can’t do anything more than that. If you don’t want me around, I’ve given you the opportunity [against Canelo] to become a British boxing legend.
“He deserves this opportunity,” said Hearn in sounding like a diplomat in carefully choosing his words.
We’ll see if Saunders can take advantage of this opportunity that Hearn has given him. It doesn’t look good, though. Saunders looked mediocre in virtually all of his fights since his big win over David Lemieux in 2017.
Even the Billy Joe that we saw against Lemieux and Chris Eubank Jr will be out of his league against Canelo. Saunders is a spoiler, who tries to nick rounds, and that’s not going to work against Canelo. You don’t nick rounds from Canelo.
Alvarez’s popularity is smothering Saunders
“I promote both guys,” said Hearn. “I’ve delivered this absolute huge fight for both of them, the fight they all wanted.
“In Billy Joe’s case, he joined Matchroom because he wanted me to make these kinds of fights. I delivered it for an absolute s*** load of money.
“If he says he’s not bothered about the money, he’s also getting the legacy. He’s getting everything he needs. Every word for that contract [with Saunders] will be honored.
“I went to see Canelo Alvarez, and I went to see Billy Joe Saunders. Canelo Alvarez does happen to be the #1 pound-for-pound, and he is the A-side for the fight. There’s a lot of attention around him,” said Hearn.
Saunders is no name in the U.S, and that’s because he’s been matched carefully by his promoters over in the UK.
When you look at Saunders’ 30-0 record that he’s built up during his 12-year career, it’s just so obvious that he’s been steered around the talented opposition to keep him from losing.
The end result is, Saunders is getting a payday against Canelo that he hasn’t earned, and his resume is so weak that no one knows who he is in the U.S and he’s not a star in his own country.