Can Saunders Conquer Everest in Clash with Canelo

Billy Joe Saunders was coming perilously close to being just another fighter that never reached his potential. Since defeat in the 2nd round of the Beijing Olympics Saunders is unbeaten in 30 professional fights with 14 knockouts. He faces Canelo this weekend

However when you look through his resume, he has never really fought at this level despite being a two weight world champion. Eubank, Lemieux and Andy Lee are the standout names on his ledger.

World level fighters but nowhere near the elite. Canelo on the other hand is considered a pound for pound great of this era. At just 30 years old he has fought 58 times. He’s already beaten the likes of Gennady Golovkin,Sergiy Kovalev and Callum Smith. A unified World champion in four different weight classes Canelo is the red hot favourite against the Brit.

The two best middleweights in the world will be fighting up at Super-Middleweight in what is a mouth watering prospect. Canelo has grown through the weight classes, having started at Welterweight and winning a world title at light-heavyweight.

Saunders the Southpaw

Billy Joe on the other hand has always been a victim of being placed in the ‘who needs him’ category. A slick tricky southpaw, Billy Joe has struggled to make credible fights.

As I look onto tonight there is a feeling for me that Billy Joe has that X factor. That something intangible that could make the prospect of an upset not entirely beyond the realms of possibility.

He’s a slick quick southpaw with natural technical ability and though Canelo has felt unbeatable in recent years, his struggles have often come against those types of opponents. Erislandy Lara and Floyd Mayweather have both given Canelo nightmares with the latter inflicting his only career defeat.

Saunders can draw inspiration from another underdog Brit who went over to America to face a Herculean task. Lloyd Honeyghan travelled to Atlantic City to rip the belts from the waist of Donald Curry. Billy Joe has to emulate Honeyghan before him and become a man possessed who will not be denied a legacy defining win.

He could also draw inspiration from a somebody a little bit closer to home. His close friend Tyson Fury famously went over to Dusseldorf to outbox and outthink long reigning heavyweight champion Vladimir Klitschko.

Saunders mind games

The mind games have been rife all week from the Saunders camp and in truth, Canelo has shown signs that it may be working.

The veil has slightly slipped from the pound for pound king but it remains to be seen whether or not this will affect his performance. The allusions to Mexican beef have served as a reminder to his troubled past and drug failures.

In my view Billy Joe is good enough to beat Canelo but he doesn’t have the power to knock him out. If Billy Joe is going to win on points in America, in front of 70,000 Alvarez fans.

He is going to have to win every round convincingly without flinching and if there is anyone in the boxing world that can provide that kind of shock. It is Billy Joe Saunders.


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