With No Fight Against Canelo Alvarez, Who Is Billy Joe Saunders Looking To Face Now?
Now that he’s gotten his boxing license again, Billy Joe Saunders is looking to get back to doing what he does best. The only question is who will he end up facing?
Saunders (29-0), the WBO Super-Middleweight Champion, recently backed out of talks to face off against Canelo Alvarez later this year. Stating he wouldn’t be ready to compete in time for September, Saunders left a lot more questions than answers on the Canelo side. When it comes to what he wants now, Saunders told IFL TV he is interested in facing off against Callum Smith or Demetrius Andrade.
“I think those two fights make real sense. I can see one of them definitely happening. Maybe at the end of October or November, or even December. I’m looking for the big fights against the world’s elite fighters, on a fair and even playing field,” Saunders stated, via Boxing Scene.
“I’ve contacted MTK a couple of days ago. They’re working on something now and even touched base with Eddie. I think it’ll be finalized in the coming weeks. All I’ve got to do is put my trust in them, make a big fight and see where we go.”
Smith (27-0), the WBA and The Ring Super-Middleweight Champion, made his professional debut in 2012. A British Super-Middleweight Champion, “Mundo” won the aforementioned titles in the World Boxing Super Series middleweight finals. His last bout was a unanimous decision win over John Ryder in November.
One of the issues regarding Smith is that it appears he is the front-runner to face Canelo. That would leave Saunders with an opponent he was supposed to fight back in 2018.
Andrade (29-0), the WBO Middleweight Champion, has defended the belts against mandatory challengers three times. His last fight was a TKO-win against Luke Keeler back in January. The two were supposed to face off before, in October 2018 for Saunders’ then-WBO Middleweight Title. He relinquished the belt after testing positive for oxilofrine, canceling the bout. Saunders has stated he is confident he can beat Andrade.
The 30-year-old Saunders ended up winning the WBO Super-Middleweight Title against Shefat Isufi. He defended it once, beating Marcelo Esteban Coceres via TKO. Saunders had his boxing license suspended due to controversial statements made regarding women. He has since been fined and given his license back. If everything goes according to plan, Saunders could potentially end up facing Canelo.
“I’m already a two-time world champion,” Saunders went on to say. “The only thing I care about is winning, so I have to keep on winning and winning. If the public demands for it (fight against Canelo), maybe it will happen, maybe it won’t. Everything happens for a reason.”