Billy Joe Saunders remains on course to win race for May 2 Canelo fight

Phil Jay 29/02/2020
Canelo vs Billy Joe Saunders

📸 Amanda Westcott

World Boxing News has learned that Billy Joe Saunders is finally on the verge of landing a Canelo title clash for Las Vegas on May 2nd.

Canelo has been in discussions with both Saunders and UK rival Callum Smtih for his regular ‘Cinco de Mayo’ date in Nevada. It now seems Saunders could be ratified after weeks of uncertainty.

WBN understands Saunders and Smith were both holding out for a better payday, although the former has accepted his latest increase.

Question marks were raised when a ticketing error was posted by axs.com early last week, although that could genuinely prove to be a mistake.

Saunders has been craving his opportunity and WBN believes it will come with confirmation in the next few days.

The WBA ‘regular’ champion Canelo is ready to put his strap on the line against the WBO ruler in what will be classified as a unification despite the low status of the Mexican’s version.

As WBN reported first on January 21st, Saunders was green-lighted as an opponent by Canelo and was immediately installed as favorite.

Now, after just over a month of painstaking negotiations, the 30-year-old finally stands on the cusp of securing the fight he’s always craved.

It’s the reason Saunders moved from Frank Warren amicably late last year to sign with Matchroom and Eddie Hearn. WBN reported at the time that Canelo was promised to Saunders as part of the arrangement.

Speaking to WBN earlier in February, Saunders had said the final contract was yet to be received.

“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.”


Once formally announced, it does mean bad news for Smith. The Scouser was initially attempting to entice Canelo to England.

‘Mundo’ wanted a huge event at Liverpool Football Club’s Anfield Stadium. But Smith could now turn to a rematch with John Ryder instead.

For Saunders, landing Canelo would be the culmination of an entire career’s work, which was centered around facing either the pound for pound number one or Gennadiy Golovkin.

A huge Las Vegas weekend will be on the cards once Golden Boy makes an official announcement soon.

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