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Billy Joe Saunders talks Golovkin, “Cheat” Canelo & hand injury

WBO world middleweight king Billy Joe Saunders has reiterated his desire to unify the division and offered “cheat” Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez some diet tips.

Saunders (26-0-KO12) is recovering from the hand injury that forced him to delay a defence against Martin Murray until June 23 but remains determined to earn his showdown with WBA Super, WBC and IBF champion Gennady Golovkin this year.

Golovkin had been due to take on Alvarez in a rematch only for the Mexican to fail a drugs test – drawing severe disapproval from Saunders.


Saunders said: “I think ‘Canelo’ has been caught out and I think he’s an absolute cheat and an absolute liar. End of story.

“There are no excuses. The one he’s tried to use is the oldest trick in the book and it’s absolute rubbish. He should get a lengthy, lengthy ban for what he’s done.

“As a traveller, I’ve always lived off the land. Rabbits, squirrel, roadkill – I eat them all and there’s no chance of my meat being ‘contaminated’ as he claims because it’s straight off the land and on to the plate. He’s lying anyway.

“As for a replacement opponent for GGG, I hear they’re getting some light-middleweight Mexican but I’d much rather see Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan get the fight. I’ve fought a lot of GGG’s opponents and he can fight mine.”

While Saunders has a healthy respect for five-time world title challenger Murray (36-4-1-KO17), he admits he’s been dreaming of holding all-four belts in a single division for as long as he can remember and is prepared to travel to face Golovkin if necessary.

Saunders added: “I’d like home advantage in that fight but since I was a kid I’ve dreamt of a huge unification fight in Las Vegas. That’d be nice.

“I’m not interested in fighting anyone else. Golovkin is the one I want. He keeps saying he wants to unify – well here I am and I’m ready to have it with him.

“My hand is improving day by day. I’m already tapping away with it and I’m on track. I’m not looking past Murray because he’s a dangerous opponent but I’m inspired by what winning my next fight could bring.”

Saunders put on arguably the greatest performance of his unbeaten career last time out – schooling Canada’s David Lemieux in the challenger’s back yard in Laval.

Follow Billy Joe Saunders on Twitter @bjsaunders_

Warren targeting Golovkin vs. Saunders fight for later this year

Promoter Frank Warren has confirmed that talks are in progress for WBO Middleweight World Champion Billy Joe Saunders to face WBA, WBC and IBF Champion Gennady Golovkin in the autumn, should he come through his fight with Martin Murray at London’s 02 Arena on June 23rd.

Golovkin was due to fight Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez on May 5th in Las Vegas, but the Mexican withdrew from the rematch on Tuesday, causing widespread rumors that Saunders would step in as a late replacement.

However, Saunders’ promoter has confirmed that the undefeated Hatfield star will make the fourth defence of his World Title against domestic rival Murray on June 23rd as originally planned.

“I’ve spoken with Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler and Golovkin v Saunders is in play for this Autumn,” said Warren. “May 5th was never going to happen because of Bill’s hand injury and Golovkin’s team are going ahead with a fight on that date so couldn’t make a fight in June.

“Bill will definitely be defending his belt against Martin Murray on June 23rd.

“If he comes through his fight against Martin then we are hoping he will get the chance to unify the Middleweight division against Golovkin in the autumn. That would be a huge fight and one we would love to make here in the UK.

“Golovkin has said many times that he wants to add the WBO belt to his collection and it’s a fight that Bill would jump at. There should be no problem making it – on paper it is a brilliant fight and one fans have been calling for.

“This is a fight that will define Bill’s legacy and I genuinely believe he will win. If anyone can beat Golovkin then it’s Bill, he has the style and the boxing skills. But first he has to deal with Martin on June 23rd.”

Tickets for Saunders v Murray priced form £40 (Tier) to £300 (Hospitality) are available to purchase via www.axs.com.