EXCLUSIVE: Billy Joe Saunders updates WBN on status of Canelo clash

Phil Jay 14/02/2020
Billy Joe Saunders

📸 Mark Robinson

Two-weight world champion Billy Joe Saunders remains in limbo regarding the possibility of facing Canelo Alvarez on May 2 in Las Vegas.

As World Boxing News revealed last month, Saunders was green-lighted for the official Canelo shortlist for the regular Cinco de Mayo date.

Alongside the likes of Ryota Murata, Demetrius Andrade, Callum Smith, John Ryder, Jaime Munguia and David Benavidez, Saunders remains hopeful a deal can be done.

Giving an update to WBN from training on Friday, Saunders says nothing official is yet in place for what would be a Mexico vs United Kingdom super-fight.

“May 2, you know against Canelo. It’s a big fight if it happens, it happens. If it don’t, it don’t,” Saunders exclusively told World Boxing News.

“It would be nice to land the Canelo fight to show people how good I am. Right now, I’ve left this in my management’s hands at MTK.

“When they get back to me and say the fight is a done deal, it’s a done deal. But I haven’t seen any offer from anybody, as of yet.

“So if they want to get in contact, go direct to my team. That would be the best bet to get this done. MTK, get direct with them.”

Usually, Canelo’s handlers at Golden Boy have an opponent in place if the pound for pound king is to make his first outing on that usual weekend.

This could point to the four division ruler potentially looking at alternatives to May 2. Something a little later in the year.

Whatever happens, Saunders faces a wait until Canelo makes his choice. As do all the other fighters in the frame.


On what else could be in the pipeline if Canelo fails to materialize, Saunders added: “There are plenty of other big fights, big names out there.

“Danny Jacobs or Callum Smith would be good fights. And there are other big names we can look at,” he concluded.

Saunders left Frank Warren amicably in 2019 to join Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing on the promise of huge fights.

Out of the candidates available, a collision with Callum Smith would be the most appealing to UK fans.

Smith had been aiming to fight at Liverpool FC’s Anfield Stadium in 2020, and with brother Liam Smith linked to an all-Brit battle with Kell Brook, a huge double-header could land in the lap of Sky Sports Box Office if the stars align in the coming weeks.

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