Billy Joe Saunders: I know I'm already three rounds down against Canelo

By Sports Desk February 28, 2021

Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez will start May's super-middleweight unification showdown "three rounds" to the good, according to WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders.

Canelo will put his WBA and WBC belts on the line against the undefeated Saunders on May 8 after clinically dispatching an over-matched Anvi Yildirim in three rounds in Miami on Saturday.

Saunders was set to face Canelo last May before the coronavirus shutdown intervened and British fighter has already moved to start the pre-fight mind games by suggesting the pound-for-pound Mexican superstar has benefitted from favourable scorecards in the past.

Canelo boxed to a draw and a majority decision win over the course of two thrilling and close bouts with Gennadiy Golovkin.

Back in 2013, when the four-weight champion suffered his only career loss to the great Floyd Mayweather Jr, one judge remarkably scored the fight a draw.

Such instances appear to be at the forefront of Saunders' mind – with good reason given only 14 of his 30 career wins have come by stoppage.

"So long as I make sure everything's on a fair playing field," he told iFL TV.

"To me, money doesn't really matter. Victory matters.

"When someone works all their life to get to where they need to get in life, it's very important that people be fair.

"If I win, give me the decision. If I don't win, I don't win. But as long as it's fair.

"I already know when I go there I'm three rounds down. So I need to make sure everyone's on a fair, even playing field."

Caleb Plant's IBF strap will be the only major prize at 168lbs residing outside of a blockbuster contest.

However, to Saunders, the prospect of defeating a fighter widely recognised as the finest in the sport appeals far more than whatever baubles that might bring.

"This ain't really about nothing but me versus him. Winner v winner, that's what it is," he said.

"We know nobody is unbeatable. Nobody. That's for sure.

"It's going to be a very tough fight and a very hard one. But I wouldn't just be getting in this ring for money or for a chance just to be seen.

"I'm going in there for one reason and one reason only. May 8 can't come quick enough."

Related items

  • 'I'm not 21 anymore' – Mayweather dominates but Paul survives exhibition 'I'm not 21 anymore' – Mayweather dominates but Paul survives exhibition

    Floyd Mayweather Jr. dominated but failed to beat Logan Paul as the YouTube sensation went the full eight rounds with the boxing great in their exhibition showdown.

    All eyes were on Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, where all-time great Mayweather and YouTube-star-turned-prizefighter Paul sensationally shared the ring on Sunday.

    The exhibition bout featured eight three-minute rounds, with no judges and no official winner, though knockouts were legal.

    In the bizarre cross-over-fight, there were concerns for Paul – who had lost his only other bout heading into a blockbuster showdown with Mayweather, who retired with a flawless 50-0 record in 2017.

    Mayweather – typically patient – controlled the fight against a visibly tired Paul, who had a huge height and weight advantage and managed to unleash a flurry of punches though they barely troubled the 44-year-old.

    "I'm not 21 anymore but it's good to run around with these younger guys," Mayweather said afterwards.

    "He's a tough competitor, it was good action, had fun, I was surprised by him. Good work.

    "... I had fun, I'm pretty sure he had fun and hopefully fans enjoyed it."

    Paul, 26, added: "I don't want anyone to tell me anything is possible ever again.

    "The fact that I'm in here with one of the best boxers of all times proves the odds can be beat.

    "... Floyd Mayweather it was an honour, I hate being a d******** I love you guys."

  • Badou Jack scores fourth-round KO, Arias upsets Hurd Badou Jack scores fourth-round KO, Arias upsets Hurd

    Badou Jack stopped Dervin Colina in the fourth round on the Floyd Mayweather Jr-Logan Paul undercard in Miami.

    Jack scored a fourth-round knockout against Colina at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday – the final fight before the exhibition showdown between boxing great Mayweather and YouTube sensation Paul.

    Sweden's Jack (24-3-3), who is a former super middleweight and light heavyweight champion, dropped underdog Colina (15-1) three times in the fourth round.

    "I'm a way better boxer than him," Jack said after Colina stepped in to fight on barely a week's notice, having replaced WBC light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal – who tested positive for four banned substances. "Outbox him, and everything else will come."

    Earlier, Luis Arias (19-2-1) claimed a shock split-decision victory over Jarrett Hurd (24-2) in the 10-round middleweight contest.

    "People close to me were telling to get a job, give up on boxing, and I'm here," Arias said.

    "I believe I won the fight," Hurd said. "I had him out sometimes and they gave him a break wiping off the ring, but they gave him the fight and I have to go with what they said.

    "The plan was to come in here and box but we couldn't move around as much because the ring was slippery."

  • Haney holds off Linares to defend lightweight title Haney holds off Linares to defend lightweight title

    Devin Haney survived a late flurry from veteran Jorge Linares to successfully defend his WBC lightweight title, winning by unanimous decision Saturday in Las Vegas. 

    The 22-year-old Californian had little trouble through the first nine rounds against the former three-division world champion before Linares did some damage late. 

    A hard right in the 10th round left Haney (26-0) wobbly and the effects appeared to carry over into the 11th as Linares (47-6) tried in vain to win it with one punch. 

    Haney was able to hold on through 12 rounds, though, winning 116-112 on two judges' scorecards and 115-113 on the other. 

    It was the first time in 53 career fights that Linares lost a decision, the 35-year-old Venezuelan's previous defeats all coming by knockout. 

    Haney's win could set up a unification showdown with Teofimo Lopez, should the 16-0 IBF, WBO, WBA and The Ring lightweight champion defeat George Kambosos Jr. next month. 

    "I want to make the biggest fights happen," Haney told DAZN after the fight. "If Teofimo Lopez is next, let's do it."

    On Saturday's undercard, Chantelle Cameron defended her WBC light-welterweight strap with a fifth-round TKO of former world champion Melissa Hernandez. 

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.