Superstar Canelo Alvarez will fight on May 2, over the big Cinco de Mayo celebratory weekend, but we don’t yet know who Canelo’s opponent will be, nor do we know the venue of the fight. However, according to a tweet from top boxing writer Mike Coppinger, Britain’s Billy Joe Saunders is the fighter Canelo has “zeroed in on” and negotiations for the fight are expected to begin in earnest this week:
“Sources: Canelo Alvarez has zeroed in on Billy Joe Saunders as his May 2 opponent, and negotiations are expected to pick up during the week toward consummating a deal. Saunders holds a 168 pound title, so a victory would make Canelo a full-fledged four-division champion.”
As fans know, Canelo briefly stopped off at 168 back in December of 2018, when he easily stopped another British fighter in Rocky Fielding to take a version of the WBA super-middleweight title. If Canelo, 53-1-2(36) can defeat Saunders, the WBO champ, it would mean a lot more. Indeed, Saunders, a slick southpaw who has never tasted defeat as a pro, can be expected to give Canelo a far tougher time of things than Fielding was capable of doing.
When he’s on his game, as he was when winning a wide decision over the dangerous David Lemieux in December of 2017, Saunders, 29-0(14) is a formidable boxer. Having been asking for a big-fight shot at either Canelo or Gennady Golovkin for the longest time, Saunders can be expected to be at his absolute best, mentally and physically, if thie fight is indeed signed, sealed and delivered.
Where the fight will take place (if it is done) will prove very interesting, but Saunders has shown, with fights taken in Canada and the U.S, that he is unafraid to travel for a fight. Saunders looked pretty poor (by his own admission) last time out, when he had to rally late to stop the unheralded Marcelo Esteban Coceres, having fallen behind on points, but again, he can be expected to be at his best for a shot at the Mexican star.
Who knows, with his slick, hard to hit southpaw style, BJS might give Canelo fits. For a while at least. Can the bigger-punching physically stronger Canelo, who is coming off a history-making win up at light-heavyweight, catch up with Saunders as the fight wears on? We may find out on May 2.