The unbeaten Saunders, the WBO champion, was looking to inflict just the second defeat of Canelo’s career, which has spanned 55 fights and only saw him lose to Floyd Mayweather back in 2013.
But it appears Billy Joe and his team may be headed back to the United Kingdom before even getting the chance to get the better of Canelo, with the Mexican’s representatives refusing to meet their demands for the ring to be made bigger.
Tom Saunders suspects that the WBC and WBA king does not want to fight his son out of fear of suffering a loss in front of 70,000 baying fans in Dallas, the bulk of whom will be supporting him against his English opponent.
Billy Joe was not present for the first planned face-off between the two fighters on Tuesday with Canelo left to stand alone in front of the cameras.
Speaking to iFL TV earlier in the day, Saunders Snr said: “I can’t see them coming face to face, the issue with the ring has still not been sorted. There’s nothing in the contract about the ring size, it’s all negotiations. The negotiations have broken down big time.
“We want a 24ft ring. We’ve come down to 22ft and they’re trying to take Billy Joe’s legs away. We’re up against everything here, everything.
“At the end of the day, I’m not going to let my son box in a 20ft ring against who is supposed to be the pound for pound king of boxing, you know?
“We’re up against everything. We’ve spoken to them this morning, they’ve said, ‘It’s either 20ft or book your flights home.’
“Unfortunately, we apologise to the fans, British, American and around the world, I can’t let my son box in a 20ft ring against Canelo on Cinco de Mayo weekend.
“We’ve given into a lot of stuff here but this, we just cannot give into. The fight would not be fair. The fight’s off. The fight’s off.
“The negotiations have broken down completely. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve got a late substitute, someone they’re going to try and dig out from somewhere.
“I don’t think he wants to fight Billy Joe. I think he’s seen a few clips and I don’t think he fancies it, he only wants a sure thing. Billy Joe is not a sure thing and we can’t give his legs away.
“That’s what will win this fight, his movement but unfortunately it looks like the public won’t see this fight.
“We’re not going to take this bulls*** anymore. Enough’s enough. We can’t bend over backwards to please Canelo.
“He’s chucking his sweets out the pram because someone has said no to him. These people are used to fighters coming over for a pay cheque and saying, ‘yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir.’
“We’re not being put in a position where everything is on their side or in their corner. It’s not fair. All we’ve asked from day one is a fair chance.”
Earlier this week, Billy Joe told talkSPORT: “The problem is I come over here and they try to chuck me in a phone box of a boxing ring.
“You know, all these games and other bits and bumps played along the way for this fight is all mind games.
“For me, that’s just unacceptable. I want a 24ft ring and they’re saying it’s not gonna happen and it is what it is. But I’ve left it to my team and I’m sure they’ll solve it – otherwise there won’t be any fight.
“You can’t just fly me in here and show me the ring that we’re using and I’ve been training all of my camp in a 24ft ring.
“It’s a unification fight, not a British title. It’s like someone training on the 200m running track and someone training on the 400m running track — there’s a big difference.
“Anybody who knows boxing knows this fight, how I’ve got it in my head to plan out — won’t give too much away for the game plan.
“And I know he’s got his own style of fighting and his game plan, and I know his game plan. His game plan is not waiting around, his game plan is coming to me. And I want somewhere where I can move and get my boxing off.
“Every world title fight, all of these unification fights, they’re always in big-sized rings. Name me one, name me two fights where you see an 18ft ring unification?”
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed