04
Dec
2020

Canelo vs Billy Joe Saunders gets green light for May 2 in Las Vegas

Phil Jay 21/01/2020
Canelo vs Billy Joe Saunders

📸 Amanda Westcott

World Boxing News understands Canelo Alvarez has green-lighted Billy Joe Saunders as his next opponent for Cinco de Mayo weekend in Las Vegas.

Scheduled to return on May 2, the Mexican superstar had been considering a few options for yet another outing on the famous strip.

Saunders and Gennadiy Golovkin were head and shoulders above the rest. It seems Saunders has now won the race.

Confirmation of the clash could move pretty fast, provided all the contractual details can be worked out between both sides.

Canelo is fresh off a stunning victory over Sergey Kovalev at light heavyweight. WBN believes he may now be pushing to pick up another belt at 168.

Holding straps at middleweight at super-middleweight after relinquishing his title at 175, Canelo can choose where he goes next.

But due to the 29-year-old only taking Rocky Fielding’s WBA ‘regular’ version with ease in 2018, doubts have been raised about Canelo’s credentials as a four-weight ruler. The pound for pound king may now wish to rectify this by challenging Saunders for his WBO version.

The contest would still be classed as a unification for promotional purposes as Golden Boy push another huge night in Nevada.

Known as something of a Brit-basher, Canelo will face the SIXTH UK fighter of his career. That’s once the contract is inked.

Matthew Hatton and Ryan Rhodes early on. Plus Amir Khan, Liam Smith, and Fielding have all been defeated by the flame-haired superstar.

Holding highly impressive boxing credentials and undefeated into the bargain, Saunders is expected to be Canelo’s toughest British test.

VENUE

If contracts are exchanged, the clash is likely to happen at the MGM Grand, rather than the T-Mobile Arena. The latter has been the choice of Canelo for the majority of his last six bouts.

Returning to the MGM Grand for the Kovalev bout is a signal the famous Garden Arena would take over as favorite to host Canelo vs Saunders.

Signing with Matchroom Boxing last year in a shock switch from Frank Warren, Saunders agreed on the deal specifically in order to pursue Canelo and Callum Smith.

Since defeating Golden Boy’s own David Lemieux in December 2017, the two-weight world champion has failed to land a big fish. But they don’t come much bigger than Canelo.


SAUNDERS FORM (last six)

November 2019 – Marcelo Esteban Coceres W (KO 11)

May 2019 – Shefat Isufi1 W (UD 12)

December 2018 – Charles Adamu W (RET 4)

December 2017 – David Lemieux W (UD 12)

September 2017 – Willie Monroe Jr W (UD 12)

December 2016 – Artur Akavov W (UD 12)

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay