Canelo Álvarez did it once again. The WBC and WBA (Super) super middleweight champion of the world demolished mandatory challenger Avni Yıldırım in the three-round victory.
Soon after the fight, Matchroom Boxing announced that Canelo Álvarez will be facing WBO titleholder Billy Joe Saunders in a unification bout which will take place on 8th May, marking the former’s third fight in five months.
“Crazy and slick” Billy Joe Saunders can hassle Canelo Álvarez in the ring, says Eddie Hearn
While the exact venue for the clash is yet to be finalised, Matchroom MD Eddie Hearn hinted that Canelo and Saunders may square off at either the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas or the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
However, Hearn is also giving Saunders, the undefeated British pugilist an upperhand ahead of facing the Mexican maestro, insisting that his compatriot “Superb” can topple Canelo off from his reign at 168 and become the unified champion.
“Billy Joe Saunders for a long time has said he will beat Canelo Alvarez. He has the style to beat him,” Hearn told Fight Hub soon after the official announcement of the fight.
“I’ll tell you one thing, I think if there’s anyone in the division that will beat or could beat Canelo, it’s Billy Joe Saunders,” the promoter went on, “because he has the style and the movement and he has something different in his head.”
While admitting that Saunders will still be the underdog against the number one pound for pound boxer, Hearn hints that someone “crazy and slick” like Saunders can be a hassle for Canelo, who in the past has had hassles with slick opponents.
“We keep saying Canelo has struggled against slick fighters, but this is when he wasn’t as good as he is now. So people talk about the Lara fight, the Floyd Mayweather fight, the Trout fight, but he was 40% of the fighter that he is now,” Hearn added.
Nobody is unbeatable: Saunders says he has the key to unlock the door in Canelo
Saunders, who has defended his WBO belt twice, has been confident to cause an upset against Canelo in May as well.
“I believe I am the only one with the footwork, knowhow, skillset, mindset and brain to unlock that door in Canelo,” said Saunders in a recent interview, “he’s (Canelo) the main man in the sport and the face of boxing. You have to give him respect, he hasn’t ducked anyone, he’s beaten good names, but nobody is unbeatable.” (H/T BoxingScene)