“They Want To Try To Play Mind Games”- Billy Joe Saunders Rejects Canelo Alvarez Fight

Published 07/02/2020, 11:00 AM EDT


WBO Super-middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders has revealed to have withdrawn for a title defense against Saul Canelo Alvarez. Speaking to ‘The Athletic Boxing’ the British boxer explained his decision to pull out from considerations for a fight scheduled for September 12. The news comes as a disappointment to the boxing community considering both fighters are yet to fight in 2020.

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Billy Joe Saunders: “I’m not ready in September”

The Southpaw boxer who has represented England gave his views on passing up the fight in conversation with Mike Coppinger. His primary reasoning for being unable to meet Alvarez in the ring stemmed from an inability to train during the pandemic.

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“I’m not ready (in) September.. I’m nobody’s stepping stone. I’m not another belt for Canelo. They want to try mind games; that don’t work with me. I play the biggest mind games in British boxing.”

Superb’ Saunders last fought in November of 2019 where he picked up the 11 round TKO finish over Marcelo Coceres. The COVID-19 pandemic derailed the undefeated boxers’ hopes for a speedy return to action. Saunders will most likely miss the Canelo booking for the foreseeable future having to settle for a tune-up fight.

The Mexican Megastar is now left out in the cold and will face an opponent for a smaller paycheck than anticipated. Canelo will have his hands full later in the year as he prepares himself to fight Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin in December. The previous bouts had the combat sports world split as many believed ‘GGG’ did enough to secure the victory.

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The story of the fight

Although the bout has been tabled for a later point in time it offers to be a fan-friendly technical exchange.

The orthodox fighter in Canelo Alvarez is known for his slick counter-punching abilities in the pocket. He also carries vicious knockout power late into the fight. Billy Joe Saunders will have to be wary of the 56 fight veteran when trading in close range.

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How do you see a potential match-up between the two champion boxers playing out?

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Darryl Pinto

1795 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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