Saunders On Potentially Not Fighting Canelo: ‘It Is What It Is’
Despite a variety of factors that are stopping him from competing, Billy Joe Saunders is still hoping for a bout with Canelo Alvarez. The two were rumored to face one another on May 2 but the potential fight was told it would be pushed back to June due to the coronavirus. Now, Saunders is just hoping he can get a fight by the end of the year.
Saunders (29-0) spoke to The Telegraph about waiting for fights to resume. A fight with Canelo would have resulted in an $8 million purse. Instead, Saunders ended up stuck at home, waiting for a call that something had changed.
“I’m dealing with it and it is what it is,” Saunder stated. “I just hope the country can get back to normal and I hope everyone stays safe. The fights will come later in the year, but I’m staying in contact with my management MTK Global and I’m just trying to go on as many runs as possible and stay as fit and ready as I can.”
Saunders won the WBO Middleweight Title back in 2015 over Andy Lee. He relinquished the belt in 2018 after testing positive for a banned substance. Returning to the ring a few months later, he won the WBO Super-Middleweight Title in a fight against Shefat Isufi. His last fight was a TKO-win over Marcelo Esteban Coceres back in November.
Canelo (53-1-2) is the WBA, WBC, IBF, The Ring, and lineal Middleweight Champion. He moved up in weight in November to win the WBO Light-Heavyweight Title from Sergey Kovalev but relinquished it right after. There are rumors he could be facing off against Gennadiy Golovkin in a trilogy bout, thus ending Saunders’ quest for a shot at him. Saunders still has hope, however, and will wait for a definitive answer.
“They’re keeping me informed,” Saunders went on to say. “I know Eddie (Hearn) has to get a lot of dates together for fighters. I’ll let it go on through my management and they’ll get back to me. Less of a headache. Instead of fighting for the biggest prize in boxing in Canelo Alvarez, I sat down, chilling, playing cards on the farm. I dealt with it when it happened. It’s one of them, it’s completely out of control. Just got to get on with it, all you can do.”
It is unknown when Saunders will be able to fight in general. The WBO postponed all fights through them through June. There is also the factor of Saunders’ recent sentence. Saunders’ boxing license has been suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control. This news comes after Saunders posted and deleted a controversial video on social media instructing men on how to hit women.
Saunders has since apologized and has pledged to donate £25,000 to domestic violence charities. There is no update yet from the BBBofC on his status.