Billy Joe Saunders will get the opportunity to join the elite fighters in the sport when he takes on pound-for-pound number one Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’ next month. Victory over the Mexican would ensure he jumps into the pound-for-pound top-10 himself.
Two-time world champion, Saunders, has a record of 30-0 in the ring. 14 of those victories have come inside the distance. Despite his excellent record, Saunders does not quite have the same reputation as other world champions around his weight division do.
BILLY JOE SAUNDERS VS MARTIN MURRAY! | LIVE WEIGH-IN— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) December 3, 2020
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Saunders has been calling for a fight with either Canelo or Gennady Golovkin for several years now. Discussions were held on many occasions with the respective promoters for those boxers, but up until now, he was unable to land a marquee fight.
Betting sites like Space Casino have already opened betting on this unification contest for the WBA, IBF and WBO super-middleweight crowns. Saunders is the 4/1 underdog with the firm, while Alvarez can be backed at 2/15. The winner of this fight will be in a good position to become the undisputed super-middleweight champion shortly. To do that, they will need to pick up the WBC belt, which is currently held by Caleb Plant.
Success Over Lemieux The Pick Of Saunders’ Wins
One of the criticisms which have come Saunders’ way is that there are few big-name stars on his record. The pick of his wins is arguably the one against David Lemieux in December 2017. The British boxer travelled to Quebec, Canada for the fight and he dominated the 12 rounds to defend his WBO middleweight title for the fourth time.
Canelo, on the other hand, has proved himself against many of the best boxers around the super-middleweight and middleweight divisions. He has had victories against Golovkin, Sergey Kovalev and Callum Smith.
Saunders is very confident that he can cause an upset in Texas when the two champions meet on the 9th May at the AT&T Stadium. It will be familiar territory for Canelo as he beat Britain’s Liam Smith at the home of the Dallas Cowboys back in 2016.
Alvarez Bidding To Cement His Place As A Generational Star
Canelo has been at the top of the pound-for-pound list in boxing for some time now. He has suffered just the one defeat, which came against Floyd Mayweather Jr. Given Money ended his career 50-0 in the ring, that defeat can be forgiven.
The Mexican has a huge amount of power in his punches for his weight. He proved that when stopping Kovalev in a light-heavyweight contest. The Russian could just not handle his punches in the closing stages of that bout.
Saunders is one of the few opponents left in the super-middleweight division which could offer Alvarez a test. He has been that dominant that he is running out of partners who are prepared to step into the ring with him. At the age of 30, he is unlikely to retire anytime soon so the next few years will be about adding to his legacy.
The bout in Dallas could be a defining night for Saunders. If he can use his smart boxing skills to avoid some of Canelo’s shots and get to the judges’ scorecards, he will have proved to the world that he deserves a lot more credit than he has had so far.