Billy Joe Saunders continues to push for Amir Khan ‘punch-up’

Saunders v Khan 03/10/2017

MTK / Naoki Fukuda

Middleweight title holder Billy Joe Saunders continues to seek out a fight with compatriot Amir Khan after calling out the welterweight in the wake of his victory over Willie Monroe Jr.

Saunders was able to keep a firm grip on his WBO belt last month when out-pointing Monroe, and as divisional rivals Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin are otherwise engaged, the 28 year-old has switched his attention to offering Khan a shot at his championship.

“I think Amir Khan is a good fighter and have total respect for him love the chance to have a punch up,” said Saunders via his social media account, reiterating his earlier intentions.

Khan, 30, isn’t rated by the World Boxing Organisation at his usual welterweight limit, meaning there would be some persuading needed by promoter Frank Warren in order to put any future negotiations to good use.

Without the strap at stake, it’s hard to see why Khan would move up in weight to 160, especially after being tamed by Canelo when campaigning at 155 pounds for a one-off bout in 2016.

Calling out Khan has also meet met by some criticism aimed at Saunders, particularly from across the Atlantic, a percentage of whom see the Hatfield man’s target as a soft option.

The likes of David Lemieux, Daniel Jacobs and Jermall Charlo are seen as much better challenges for Saunders, who eventually wants to face the winner of a Canelo v GGG rematch.

World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman ordered an immediate middleweight return between the divisions top two, leaving Saunders out in the cold and potentially treading water until the latter part of 2018.

Whether Khan is the answer to that delay is up for considerable debate.