11
May
2021

Canelo Alvarez vows to punish Billy Joe Saunders, backs down in ring row

Phil Jay 04/05/2021
Canelo Alvarez Eddy Reynoso

Ed Mulholland

World Boxing News understands Canelo Alvarez is ready to accept Billy Joe Saunders’ terms on the size of the ring for their unification.

Canelo was considering switching opponents during fight week but commented within hours that he would back down.

Speaking to Salvador Rodriguez, Canelo stated the two-foot difference in ring Saunders complained about was academic.

He added that he planned to punish Saunders for making a song and dance about it.

The pair were at loggerheads with just four days to go until they are due to battle at Dallas Cowboys Stadium on Saturday night. Saunders wanted a more expansive ring to implement his game plan of frustrating Canelo.

Upon arrival, the Briton was surprised to learn the squared circle would only be between 16 and 18 feet in diameter.

Speaking to Behind the Gloves, Saunders revealed his displeasure.

“You don’t go into a 70,000-seat [arena] and dance in a 16ft or 18ft ring, or even a 20ft ring,” pointed out the Hatfield man.

“This magnitude of a fight has to be on a fair playing field and a proper legitimate ring, proper legitimate gloves.

“I just want a fair shake of the dice,” he added.

Billy Joe Saunders 2020
Dave Thompson

Canelo harbored hopes of keeping the ring as minor as possible to trap Saunders and go for the stoppage.

Saunders and his term aired their displeasure over the turn of events, with heavyweight champion Tyson Fury even airing his grievances over the matter.

“I got off the phone with Billy Joe. It seems like they are trying a lot of tricks in Texas with him,” he said.

“I want to say; you can try all of the motherf— tricks in the world, but you won’t beat Billy Joe.

“Play fair, guys. Play fair, now.”

CANELO ALVAREZ OPPONENT

Threats by Saunders to fly home to the UK were taken seriously very by Canelo and his team. They had possible replacements on standby for the contest should the worst have happened.

Canelo is aware too much cash lies at stake to scrap the event altogether. There are a vast amount of people with tickets, and the promoters would lose big time.

British fans pinned their hopes on the fight happening despite no fans being allowed to travel.

Saunders later posted that the row was resolved.

Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America since 2018. And a member of the Sports Journalists’ Association. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.