Tag Archives: Canelo

Billy Joe Saunders' career at risk as Brit faces surgery on eye injury after Canelo loss

Billy Joe Saunders’ boxing career is at risk after the injuries he sustained in the brutal defeat by Canelo Alvarez on Saturday were diagnosed. Saunders was unable to continue after taking a huge uppercut from Alvarez in the eighth round in Texas to lose his unbeaten professional record.
The 31-year-old left the AT&T arena in Dallas in an ambulance, with Canelo claiming that he had broken his rival’s cheek in the world title unification bout.

Saunders had huge swelling around his eye and was struggling to see when he sat down on his stool at the end of the eighth round.

His trainer, Mark Tibbs, pulled his fighter out, confirming his first defeat in the 31st fight of Saunders’ career, while the Mexican extended his record of just one defeat in 59 fights in front of 73,126 fans.

The Englishman was transported to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, after the fight and he spent the night in the hospital.

“He’s going to be out for a long, long time,” promoter Eddie Hearn said after the fight.

JUST IN: Eddie Hearn teases Joshua vs Fury update, picks Canelo’s next target

“When you break a cheekbone you can risk your life and you can’t continue that way,” Canelo added in his press conference.

The full extent of Saunders’ injuries have now been confirmed, with The Athletic reporting that he has sustained multiple fractures to his orbital bone.

Saunders will now undergo surgery later today on the injuries and will face a long period of time on the sidelines.

Hearn tweeted: “Just at hospital in Dallas, @bjsaunders_ stayed in overnight. Suffered multiple fractures to orbital area and will undergo surgery this afternoon.”

Meanwhile, Hearn, who represents both Saunders and Canelo, told The Athletic that Saunders suffered a quadripod fracture, and predicted ‘several months’ of recovery time would be needed.

However, there is a doubt that the injury will heal enough for him to be able to continue his career, given the struggles others have had with similar problems.

Kell Brook suffered a fractured eye socket in defeat by Gennady Golovkin in 2016 and subsequently suffered a repeat injury to the opposite eye in his 2017 loss to Errol Spence Jr.

Brook has struggled to shake off the problems, while British heavyweight Daniel Dubois also suffered a broken orbital bone in his loss to Joe Joyce last year.

After the fight, Hearn gave his assessment of the fight – and its conclusion – to Chris Mannix.

“He couldn’t see,” he explained. “I spoke to Mark Tibbs. He said he couldn’t see, and he wouldn’t let him go out.

“I thought Billy boxed beautifully. Canelo’s so strong, he took his time, Billy’s so tricky. He busted his eye socket. As you can see going back now, his eye.

“Canelo coming on strong in the back end of the fight. Too good. Too good.

“But it was a great performance by Billy Joe Saunders. He came to win.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Billy Joe Saunders rushed to hospital with suspected broken eye socket after Canelo defeat

Billy Joe Saunders entered the ring to face Canelo Alvarez brimming with confidence, but ended the night in an ambulance as he was transported to hospital after suffering the first loss of his professional boxing career.

Saunders went toe to toe with boxing’s pound-for-pound star as he showcased the boxing skills that took him to a perfect 30-0 record heading into Saturday night’s clash with Canelo.

Working behind his southpaw jab, Saunders caused plenty of problems for Canelo as he proved to be a tricky, elusive opponent for the former five-weight world champion.

But, with some boxing pundits, and our own Express Sport round-by-round scoring, putting Saunders on level terms with Canelo heading into the second half of the scheduled 12-round bout.

But the Mexican’s punch power eventually paid off in Round 8 as a huge uppercut connected flush with Saunders’ right eye, immediately causing it to swell badly.

Canelo Alvarez stops Billy Joe Saunders as Brit retires with injury

Saunders made it to the end of the round but, after his corner assessed the Brit’s injury, they waved off the fight to give Alvarez the 56th win of his stellar career.

Saunders had acquitted himself well during the contest, and while his punches didn’t carry the same knockout threat as Canelo’s, his slick jab and constant movement made life tricky for the Mexican as the Brit appeared to shade the middle rounds.

But Canelo upped the intensity in Round 8 and landed the crucial uppercut that caused the fight-ending injury.

DAZN play-by-play commentator Todd Grisham announced on the broadcast that Saunders was being transported to hospital after sustaining a suspected fractured orbital bone.

Canelo’s TKO victory will have particularly pleased his head coach Eddy Reynoso, who called on his man to stop Saunders for showing disrespect during the pre-fight build-up in Texas.

Saunders’ team complained pre-fight about the lack of a British judge on the three-man panel, and also negotiated hard to secure a larger ring than Canelo’s team had initially wanted, with the teams eventually agreeing to the fight taking place inside a 22-foot ring, as opposed to the 20-foot ring the Mexican boxer preferred.

And after Saunders was caught on camera saying that Canelo’s breath smelled after their faceoff, Reynoso sounded off on the Brit and revealed his wish for Canelo to knock out Saunders on fight night.

“It annoys me,” he told Little Giant Boxing.

“Not only about us, but the trash talk to Mexican reporters, with people of Mexico.

“I never want to say we are going to do it by KO. I say we are going to win.

“But this time around I do want Canelo to win by KO.”

Speaking to Chris Mannix in the ring after the fight, promoter Eddie Hearn revealed Saunders’ trainer Mark Tibbs pulled him out of the fight, saying Canelo “busted his eye socket.”

“He couldn’t see,” he explained.

“I spoke to Mark Tibbs. He said he couldn’t see, and he wouldn’t let him go out.

“I thought Billy boxed beautifully. Canelo’s so strong, he took his time, Billy’s so tricky. He busted his eye socket. As you can see going back now, his eye.

“Canelo coming on strong in the back end of the fight. Too good. Too good.

“But it was a great performance by Billy Joe Saunders. He came to win.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Canelo Alvarez stops Billy Joe Saunders as Brit pulled out with orbital bone injury

Canelo Alvarez moved a step closer to becoming the undisputed king of the super-middleweight division after Billy Joe Saunders was forced to retire on his stool with a suspected broken orbital bone. There were shades of Kell Brook’s serious eye injuries from his wars with Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr when Saunders’ trainer Mark Tibbs waved off the fight in the corner after the right round.
Saunders had played his part in a closely-contested chess match up until the turning point and was arguably ahead on the scorecards when Canelo really turned on the style and pushed hard for the knockout that his team and the people of Mexico so desperately craved.

It was a thunderous uppercut that changed the complexion of the bout as Saunders staggered around the ring preparing for an onslaught that never followed as the matador Canelo taunted his rival, waving around his arms and revelling in the suffering of his opponent.

Despite the savagely persistent work to the body from Canelo, it was that one very punch that sucked all life out of Saunders as he struggled to regain momentum and throw any punches of his own as he bobbed and weaved to buy some precious time.

And the damage to Saunders’ eye was evident as soon as the camera panned to his corner when it soon became clear that this fight would not be going the distance.

Seconds later, the contest was waved off as Canelo climbed onto his trainer Eddy Reynoso’s shoulders to celebrate yet another victory on Cinco de Mayo weekend in front of a sell-out crowd at the home of the Dallas Cowboys.

Now the pound-for-pound king, who successfully navigated the mind games and tremendous skill of Saunders, will have all eyes on Caleb Plant as he looks to collect the final IBF strap and become the first-ever undisputed champion at 168lbs.

For Saunders, this was a fight that proved he belongs at the highest level yet as always, there will be questions asked of his champion spirit after he was pulled out of the fight, particularly after he previously claimed he would not quit as Daniel Dubois did following a similar eye injury against Joe Joyce last November.

Saunders took the fight to Canelo from the sound of the first bell as he looked to claim the centre of the ring, flicking his jab while moving his feet.

The Mexican was clear he would not be bullied, cracking in several thunderous body shots as he backed Saunders up onto ropes. Saunders hastily manoeuvred himself out of the firing line.

Canelo really started to assert himself in the second round and a series of thumping right hands were met by a thunderous roar from the 73,000 spectators inside the AT&T Stadium. The Mexican crowd wanted blood.

A pattern was quickly emerging in this fight and there appeared to be a stark contrast in punch power, something that was laid bare in the third round when a right hook from Canelo – that would have knocked most off their feet – found the target. Saunders shook his head and smiled.

After his gum shield was nearly blown out by an uppercut in the fourth, Saunders began to find his rhythm as he let his hands go.

The confidence was oozing from the fluid Saunders in the fifth, as he began to up the tempo, landing a double jab and overhand left on the break, in his best round of the fight so far.

Saunders now felt in control as he revved up the crowd at the start of round six before waving on Canelo and dangling his tongue at his opponent, who was looking to claw back momentum amid the power shift.

The 31-year-old was continuing to replicate the movement and elements of Erislandy Lara’s game plan in one of Canelo’s closest fights to date, as Saunders continued to use his jab and move around the 22ft ring that he’d campaigned so desperately for.

Canelo, who predicted a knockout in round eight or nine was now going for the throat as the crowd demanded punishment.

Following a series of successful right hands, it was Canelo’s electric uppercut that buzzed Saunders, leaving him with a suspected fractured orbital bone.

His legs remained strong but Saunders was evidently hurt as he looked to clear his head and refind his mojo but it was clear the Mexican was not going to let him off the hook as he looked to close the show in devastating fashion.

But, the swelling was so significant that Saunders’ corner felt there was no other option but to pull him out of the fight to prevent further and potentially life-changing damage.

Saunders was visibly distraught a short while after as he was captured with a towel over his head as he waited to climb into the back of an ambulance to a local hospital, as his team pushed away the cameras. This was sadly not his night despite moments of huge promise.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Canelo Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders LIVE: Results, updates and round-by-round scorecard

The AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas will play host to one of the biggest boxing nights of the year so far, as Britain’s Billy Joe Saunders crosses the pond to take on Mexican superstar and pound-for-pound great, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in a super-middleweight title unification battle.

  • A huge crowd of around 70,000 fans is expected to pack the stands of the stadium that plays host to NFL’s Dallas Cowboys
  • Canelo (55–1–2, 37 KOs) will put his WBA (Super), WBC and The Ring Magazine titles on the line
  • Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) also puts his WBO title up for grabs

We’ll bring you regular updates through the night, including round-by-round scoring of the main event as Alvarez and Saunders go toe to toe for super-middleweight supremacy in Texas.

Saunders in confident mood ahead of unification clash

Speaking after the weigh-ins, Saunders looked fired up and confident ahead of the biggest bout of his professional career.

Speaking to DAZN, he laid out his mindset ahead of the bout, saying, “I have the spirit, I have the belief, I have the winning mentality.

“I don’t come in to lay down, I come in to win. So I don’t think Alvarez has faced a man with as much heart and determination to win as me.

“It’s going to be a good fight. He’s a great champion. But, to be honest with you, I’ve come here to take all of his titles, and take them by storm.”

When asked how he needs to adapt his game to deal with Canelo, Saunders highlighted his undefeated record and pointed out his mindset ahead of the fight.

“I haven’t lost since 2008, I’m 30-0 and unbeaten,” he said.

Billy Joe Saunders

On weight and ready: Billy Joe Saunders (Image: GETTY)

“So therefore he has to do something differently to beat me, not the other way around.

“The key to this sort of fight is obviously everybody’s got to be on their A-game, bring their best to the table and as long as I bring my fighting spirit and my brain, I’ve got it.

And Saunders vowed to earn a few thousand more fans through his performance, even though he’s set to fight in front of a sea of Canelo fans inside AT&T Stadium.

“Mate, these fans will thrive and push me to win,” he declared.

“These fans will not bother me. They’re all for Canelo. They’re cheering for him now, but on the way out they’ll be cheering for me.”

Can Saunders dethrone Canelo? Eddie Hearn says YES

“I think this is actually the best chance that a super-middleweight has got against Canelo Alvarez,” Hearn told DAZN at yesterday’s weigh-ins.

“Billy Joe Saunders is the toughest test for Canelo – the style, the mentality.

“I went into the AT&T Stadium earlier. The atmosphere would break many people. It won’t break Billy Joe.

“But he’s going to have to box at levels he’s never boxed at before. Because he’s never been in kind of the levels and the deep end with fighters like Canelo Alvarez.

“But does Billy Joe have the levels? We believe he does. British boxing believes he does.”

Eddie Hearn is HYPED

Speaking to DAZN after the weigh-ins, promoter Eddie Hearn was bristling with anticipation as he set the scene for the upcoming unification battle.

“The fight’s got bigger and bigger. You’re going to have 70,000 people in there tomorrow night,” he said.

“We’re going to break the record for the biggest indoor attendance in U.S. boxing history. The world returns to normality, and boxing did that. It shows you that when we make great fights this is the greatest sport of all.

“Billy Joe Saunders, 30-0, unbeaten, two-weight world champion. Canelo Alvarez, pound-for-pound number one. I think we’re not going to only see one of the best fights in the last few years tomorrow night, but you’re going to see, I think, the greatest atmosphere we’ve ever seen at a boxing event.

“Billy Joe Saunders has played his part. The Canelo fans are here. It’s going to be everything. I’ve not felt like this for a long time. I’m probably more excited for this fight than I’ve been for any other fight … Both these guys deserve the credit. They’re two champions that are willing to face each other, and it’s beautiful for the sport of boxing.”

Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders

It’s on! Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez takes on Billy Joe Saunders at AT&T Stadium in Texas (Image: GETTY)

Could Joshua-Fury finally be confirmed tonight?

That’s the other big question boxing fans and media alike are hoping to get answered tonight, with rumours rife that we could finally get the announcement the boxing world wants to hear.

Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury have already signed a two-fight agreement to face each other in world championship bouts, but so far no official date or location has been confirmed.

But, with Fury in Arlington tonight to support his friend and colleague Saunders in tonight’s main event, hopes are high that an announcement could come during this evening’s proceedings.

It would be the perfect way to cap off a huge night for the sport.

The fight before the fight

It’s a huge bout, with Saunders’ confidence and attitude heading into fight night proving to be a feature of fight week in Texas, as he dealt with negotiating sticking points regarding the nationality of the ringside judges for the bout, as well as the size of the ring itself.

Saunders’ team complained at the lack of a British judge on the three-man panel in Arlington, but with the athletic commission’s lineup already locked in, Saunders was unable to force a change.

However, he did find success in his bid to secure a larger ring for the bout, with both camps eventually agreeing to the matchup taking place in a 22-foot ring.

Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders

Faceoff: Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders go face to face at the weigh-ins (Image: GETTY)

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

A proper boxing fight is finally about to break out

Somewhere among the profanities, pointless rows, security guards and brawls outside of the ring, a record-breaking fight in the US is about to take place. It is easy to forget that the final product is a genuinely enticing one.

There is something of a piece about Floyd Mayweather and Jake Paul going at each other like playground enemies in Miami. Towards the end of another week full of words and devoid of substance, a spat over a single stolen hat seems strangely reflective of what boxing all too frequently appears to have come to.

Though there is little anticipation for a fight in which a sporting great sullies his legacy by sharing a ring with a yapping novice, there is considerably greater appetite for Tyson Fury’s heavyweight showdown with Anthony Joshua.

Fury has variously claimed to be a daily drunkard, enraged with promoters, sifting through the documents with the ease of a man picking a pair of trainers from a catalogue and on the brink of an ostensibly pointless trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder.

Also on rt.com ‘Canelo’s never faced a Fighting Gypsy’: Fury backs ‘different breed’ Saunders ahead of blockbuster Alvarez clash

That no-one involved in setting up Fury against Joshua seems aware of how draining the endless verbal shadowboxing has become is testimony to the reserves of anticipation around the world for the contest.

Fights involving Billy Joe Saunders are usually less eagerly awaited. A master of wide points victories with an air of inevitability about them, Saunders is a stylish southpaw whose immense ring talents have been almost fatally undermined by his abrasve persona and litany of incidents outside the ring that have earned him around $ 160,000 in fines from the British Boxing Board of Control in recent years.

Now he is part of the most popular indoor fight in US boxing history. At least 60,000 fans are expected to crowd the AT&T Stadium in Texas on Saturday, breaking the record under a roof Stateside and providing the largest attendance at any event in the country for 14 months or so.

Also on rt.com ‘No way the fight is off’: Boxing superstar Canelo opponent Saunders mocked after claim he’s quit scrap over ring size row (VIDEO)

It would be absurd to suggest that the vast majority are not there to see Mexican megaster Canelo, the vastly experienced heavy hitter whose only defeat was against Floyd Mayweather. Yet Saunders is not there to make up the numbers in the ring.

If any fighter is unlikely to be intimidated by the daunting prospect of facing Canelo, it is the irrepressibly chest-thumping Saunders. He will likely relish taking the underdog tag for what will probably be the first time in his unblemished 30-fight career, his only troubles in the past having come when he has glaringly failed to prepare properly for fights, toiling to victory when he should have cantered against lesser opponents.

There was no need for the preposterous, predictable row over the ring size that went on earlier this week, the suggestion that Saunders would walk away from a multi-million dollar payday always seeming farcical.

Also on rt.com ‘You are a f*cking p*ssy’: Boxing great Canelo hits back at Billy Joe Saunders’ mob in hotel flashpoints over size of ring (VIDEO)

Then there was the effective admission that he wants a larger canvas around which to steer clear of Canelo’s clubbing shots, which is a sensible idea for any fighter with ambitions of staying on their feet, but does little to bolster Saunders’ claims of granite confidence.

Roy Jones Jr, one of the few fighters to eclipse Saunders in terms of movement, has said that his savvy smartness should give the hefty underdog a real chance of springing a surprise. Making more certain predictions is especially tricky in this fight, bearing in mind Saunders’ volatility and Canelo’s ability to blast anyone out with brutal speed.

On his last two trips abroad, Saunders beat David Lemieux in Canada for the WBO middleweight title with such ease that he was able to raise his hand and take a glance around the arena mid-fight, showboating to symbolize the skills that scuppered any hope the home fighter had of avoiding a unanimous decision defeat.

Saunders also produced a punishing late knockout of Marcelo Esteban Coceres on the undercard of the big-selling novelty fight between Logan Paul and KSI in 2019, which he will hope made Americans remember the name when they were buying tickets in their tens of thousands for his meeting with the toughest opponent of his career on Saturday.

Also on rt.com Canelo challenger Saunders taunts boxing superstar over failed drugs test, tells reporter his breath smells ‘like sh*t’ (VIDEO)

The Briton will not care about that, though. Even if the fight outcome goes to form, Saunders is likely to remain as inscrutably pragmatic and pugnacious as he is elusive in the ring.

That layer of mystery and unpredictability is what intrigues about this blockbuster event. Saunders has often looked like he was scarcely breaking sweat while seeing off a long succession of British challengers, never facing anyone of Canelo’s class.

Without trespassing into cliches, it is a match-up that could end quickly or endure absorbingly, and at least one reputation is likely to be established and, perhaps, set in stone by the end.

The imminence of a genuine contest between two fine fighters, in the ring rather than in front of a media scrum or hotel attendants, is a welcome one. If it can remind its vast audience that there is a sport rather than a soap opera to thank for such nights, that would resemble an element of redemption among the nonsense.

By Ben Miller

Also on rt.com Hat’ll do: More shame for boxing as Floyd Mayweather threatens to kill Jake Paul in chaotic, violent brawl after face-off (VIDEO)

Author: RT
This post originally appeared on RT Sport News

Canelo challenger Saunders taunts boxing superstar

Canelo Alvarez rival and boxing badboy Billy Joe Saunders has engaged in more provocative behavior ahead of their super-middleweight clash in Texas on Saturday, teasing the Mexican over his infamous “tainted beef” drug test shame.

The pair faced off on Wednesday evening in the US, with Saunders – who, like Tyson Fury hails from the Traveller community – telling his Mexican dance partner, “the gypsies are here”.

He then moved on to a drug test Canelo failed in 2018, when he was set to face Gennady Golovkin in a rematch of their draw the previous year for the unified middleweight championship.

Testing positive for traces of the banned substance clenbuterol, the pound-for-pound great blamed the outcome on contaminated meat.

“You had loads of beef? The Mexican beef? You like that beef? You love the beef? Juicy beef?,” Saunders asked.

“You’ve never been in the ring with someone like me. Walk away, you walk away,” the Brit added, while receiving an unfazed “yeah, yeah yeah” from his opposite number in return.

Alvarez then mentioned Saunders’ own failed drug test, when oxilofrine, a fat-burning drug, was detected in his system before his fight against Demetrius Andrade.

“It was actually him who tested positive – twice actually,” said Canelo. “In my case, it was clenbuterol – the minimum, the content from the meat. It was actually him who tested positive twice.”

On Twitter, Canelo posted a picture of them facing off with the caption: “Less talk, more action”.

When asked why he hadn’t shown for their scheduled first face off, Saunders told reporters: “Yesterday, I was in my room playing with my balls.

“There was no time for media yesterday because it was my time for playing with my balls.”

Earlier this week, the fighters and their camps were involved in another heated exchange in a disagreement over the size of the ring at the Cowboys Stadium raged.

Tom Saunders, the WBO champion’s father, claimed that talks had broken down beyond repair despite his son accepting a ring which was 2ft smaller than the maximum 24ft size allowed.

He added that Canelo, a counter-puncher who goes on the front foot to walk down his opponents with a series of body blows, wanted the ring to span just 20ft.

Warning: video contains swearing

Passing through a hotel on Tuesday, Canelo was told to “grow some b*llocks” by team Saunders.

The 30-year-old responded by calling his antagonist a “f*cking p*ssy” and, in another incident, gave Saunders’ camp a thumbs down from a distance.

“We respect you, you are the champion – there’s no need to be like that, come on. We just want fairness, that’s all. I’m just asking him a question,” insisted the same individual, who had told Alvarez to grow a pair.

“The truth is, I don’t care about the size of the ring. I’m going to go in there and do my job,” remarked Canelo.

“It’s not the only excuse that he’s had, he’s had plenty of excuses. I’m just going to go in there and do what I got to do.

“Nothing frustrates me. I’m just focused on winning on Saturday. I’m calm.”

While the mind games and one-upmanship continue, promotor Eddie Hearn and Alvarez trainer Eddy Reynoso celebrated the fact that a 70,000 attendance at the weekend will smash the record for the biggest indoor crowd in American boxing history.

That was set for the Muhammad Ali vs. Leon Spinks heavyweight championship rematch in New Orleans in 1978, which received a whopping 63,352 punters.

While Ali reclaimed his belts at the Superdome, boxing legend Roy Jones Jr believes a similar result as the original split decision victory for Spinks – dubbed the Upset of the Year by Ring Magazine at the time – could be on the cards.

“I give Billy Joe a really good chance,” Jones told IFL TV. “The toughest two fights [Canelo’s] had in his career, to me, were Floyd Mayweather Jr, who’s a pure boxer, and a southpaw by the name of Erislandy Lara, who was a boxer.

“So if you think about those two guys, who’s Billy Joe closely related to the boxing ring? Those two guys.

“He’s a boxer, he’s southpaw, and he can punch, but he thinks boxing first, much like Tyson Fury. When you got a guy like that, the only problem Billy Joe’s going to have is, can he last long enough early to get to those late rounds without sustaining any injuries, cuts, headbutts, anything?

“He has to figure out how to make up for that ring rust before he gets in there, because if he can get into the fight right away, he has a very good chance of winning it.

Warning: video contains swearing

“If he doesn’t get into the fight right away, then he’ll get blown away, but he’s a very smart guy, he’s a boxer, he’s a smart boxer.”

Less impressed by Saunders, though, were online boxing enthusiasts disgusted when he told a Mexican journalist his breath “smells like sh*t”.

“As a Saunders fan, I have to say that is horrible and disrespectful,” admitted one.

“Disrespect. But I wouldn’t expect anything less from the classless, immature Saunders,” remarked a Saunders critic, while another warned: “He’s an idiot who’s getting slammed.”

Also on rt.com ‘You are a f*cking p*ssy’: Boxing great Canelo hits back at Billy Joe Saunders’ mob in hotel flashpoints over size of ring (VIDEO)

Author: RT
This post originally appeared on RT Sport News

Boxing superstar Canelo opponent Saunders mocked after claim

Canelo Alvarez foe Billy Joe Saunders has been mocked after his father, Tommy, claimed that the fighter was preparing to fly back to Britain today because the two sides cannot agree over the size of the ring for Saturday’s scrap.

In an apparently emotional interview, notorious wind-up merchant Saunders’ dad insisted that the much-anticipated biggest fight of his offspring’s career was off, adding that his entourage had been told to pay for their flights home because of an argument centered around 2ft of ring space.

Modern great Canelo is said to want a smaller ring at the AT&T Stadium in Texas, where more than 60,000 fans are expected to watch the pair meet despite Saunders senior warning ticket holders and pay-per-view subscribers to ask for refunds just four days before the scheduled bout.

“The negotiations have broken down, big time,” he told iFL, comparing Canelo to a baby having a tantrum.

“I’m not going to let my son box in a 20ft ring against the supposed pound-for-pound king of boxing. They’re trying to take his legs away.

“He is adamant he wants to go home. We’re not going to take this bulls*** any more.

“Canelo’s chucked his rattle, bottle and whatever out of his pram because someone’s said no to him.”

Echoing the fighter’s earlier complaints, Saunders seethed that Canelo had initially asked for an “amateur” 18ft ring and moved up to 20ft, while his opponent’s team had moved down from a 24ft ring and are willing to accept a 22ft compromise.

He said he was “absolutely gutted” that the fight was seemingly off, strongly suggesting that Saunders’ renowned movement would be limited by a smaller ring.

The curious pre-flight flashpoint reminded many fans of the build-up provided by Saunders’ close friend and teammate, heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, before he dethroned Wladimir Klitschko in Dusseldorf in 2015.

Fury’s uncle, Peter, angrily threatened to call that fight off at extremely short notice over a heated argument about the firmness of the ring canvas, making a clear point to Klitschko that he would not have everything his own way.

Saunders believes that Canelo has enforced similar advantages in the build-up to his previous wins over the likes of Briton Callum Smith, jibing that the Mexican megastar would love the opportunity to stipulate that Saunders should fight with a hand tied behind his back.

The wrangle has left Eddie Hearn with work to do to ensure a fight goes ahead during fight week for the second time this month.

Last week, heavyweight Derek Chisora’s mother had to be called to ensure that the Londoner proceeded with his encounter against Joseph Parker after he voiced a series of last-minute complaints.

Fury’s bull-headed mindgames paid off against the evidently rattled Klitschko, and team Saunders will be hoping for a similar upset on Saturday.

“I don’t think he wants to fight Billy Joe,” said his father. “He’s seen a few clips of him and he doesn’t fancy it.

“That’s what’s going to win this fight – his movement. If Canelo gets beat, it’s the end of the gravy train for them all. That’s what it comes down to.”

Fury beat the Ukrainian giant in a ring spanning the maximum 24ft of space. His emphatic victory in the US over Deontay Wilder last year took place in a 20ft setting.

British super-middleweight contender John Ryder, who is due to be on commentary duties for the fight, said he had packed his “gloves, gumshield and boots” in readiness to step in should Saunders go ahead with scuppering the multi-million dollar main event.

“I agree with the stance he’s taking,” Ryder told Boxing News about the man he lost to on points in 2013. “I agree with the fuss he’s kicking up.

“A bigger ring suits him but if it was that important, it really should be stipulated in the contracts and agreed way before fight week.

“His best way of winning is to have a bigger ring and get the movement off. Canelo sees himself as the A-side – he’s right to stick to his guns and say no.

“We know Billy Joe likes a bit of fight week antics and I’m sure Canelo’s happy to oblige him. [But] they’ve trained for each other: they both want to fight, they’re desperate to fight.”

Fans largely agreed. “Sounds like when Fury fought for the title in Germany,” observed one. “All mind games. No way the fight is off.”

Also on rt.com ‘Canelo’s never faced a Fighting Gypsy’: Fury backs ‘different breed’ Saunders ahead of blockbuster Alvarez clash

Author: RT
This post originally appeared on RT Sport News

Billy Joe Saunders vs Canelo Alvarez fight OFF claims Tom Saunders after ring size feud

Billy Joe Saunders’ father Tom claims his son will not step into the ring to face Canelo Alvarez in Texas this weekend. The duo were due to square up in their super middleweight title unification fight at the AT&T Stadium on Saturday night (approx 4am Sunday UK time) but have been locked in a dispute about the size of the canvas.
And one year on from COVID-19 scrapping the 12-round fight, Tom Saunders insists the feud over the size of the ring means the rearranged bout has also fallen apart just days before the pair were to set to trade rubber.

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.

“Canelo’s put an 18ft ring, which I think is an amateur ring, that’s the fight ring. His plan was to put an 18ft ring there. They knew we we were going to start, they said: ’20ft ring, that’s it.’ That was his gameplay, to fight in a 20ft ring.

“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.

“It’s all a big con, people. If you’re subscribed to the channel, ask for your money back. If you’ve bought tickets, ask for your money back. That’s all you’re going to see, a bum in there with Canelo and Canelo just having a sparring session.

“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 all want to see this fight. This would have been a very, very good fight. But no, he’s adamant he wants to go home.

“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.

People say stuff to get under people’s skin and under camp’s skin, but it’s hundreds and hundreds of feet long and they want to stick a 16ft to 18ft ring in the middle of it.

“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

‘If Canelo calls, we’re ready’: Undefeated Russian star Beterbiev eyes Alvarez showdown after latest KO victory (VIDEO)

Light-heavyweight world champion Artur Beterbiev says he would have no hesitation in facing Mexican four-weight superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, after the undefeated Russian claimed his latest KO victim in Moscow.

Beterbiev improved his unblemished record to 16 victories from 16 fights – all of which have come by way of KO/TKO – as he put away Russian-born German opponent Adam Deines in the 10th round of their contest on Saturday night.

The Canada-based Beterbiev, 36, retained his WBC and IBF titles in what was his debut fight on home soil in front of 6,000 fans in the Russian capital.
Also on rt.com KNOCKOUT! Beterbiev blasts out Deines in 10th round of one-sided but drawn out Moscow title defence
After another destructive performance, attention turned to what could lie ahead for the Dagestani-born Beterbiev, including a potential meeting with Mexican megastar Canelo.

Canelo, 30, will next step into the ring in a super-middleweight unification fight with Britain’s Billy Joe Saunders in Texas in May.

However, rumors have suggested that further down the line Canelo could face Beterbiev – something the Russian said he is ready and waiting for.

Responding to a question from RT Sport after his win on Saturday night, Beterbiev’s team denied claims that they had already been contacted by Canelo, but added they would give a resounding “yes” should the fight be offered, even without the need for any formalities.

“We’ll tell them ‘yes’… we don’t need a meeting,” Beterbiev said.

Canelo is among boxing’s biggest draws, and is seen by many as the sport’s current pound-for-pound king.

The Mexican boasts a record of 55 wins in 58 fights as a professional, with two draws and just a single defeat, coming when he was outpointed by Floyd Mayweather back in 2013. 
Also on rt.com ‘Nothing more than a punchbag’: Canelo crushes Yildirim as Turkish challenger forced to quit on stool after three rounds (VIDEO)
In his last outing, Canelo blew away Turkish super-middleweight challenger Avni Yildirim after just three rounds of their contest in Florida. 

Speaking in recent days, Beterbiev has also teased a potential switch to MMA, claiming he could train alongside the likes of his friend Georges St-Pierre in Canada, or Russian UFC icon Khabib Nurmagomedov. 


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Boxing superstar Canelo to face British loudmouth Saunders in front of 100,000 – the biggest crowd since the Covid pandemic began

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders will meet in front of what could be the biggest sporting crowd since the start of the pandemic a year ago, with a fight venue and date now confirmed for their title showdown.

Although the super middleweight unification bout between the masterful Mexican and the undefeated Saunders had been on the cards for some time, the clash has now been confirmed for May 8 at one of the vastest settings in the US.

Streaming giant DAZN confirmed on Friday afternoon that the WBA (Super), WBC, WBO and The Ring crown clash will take place at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas – and should play host to the largest crowd at a sporting event since the pandemic broke out in early 2020.

The ground can hold 80,000 on NFL matchdays, but potential attendances at the Dallas Cowboys’ home can rise to 100,000, with relaxed laws in its state now allowing capacity crowds.

While Alvarez pulled in a still-impressive 50,000 punters for his last outing there – a 2016 demolition of Brit Liam Smith – he is a much bigger draw now as boxing’s pound-for-pound king and arguably the sport’s most popular star.

Saunders is expected to be a much tougher opponent than Williams and his brother Callum, from whom Canelo snatched his current 168lb straps in December via unanimous decision.

Still, some have pointed to the fact that even if the cousin of Tyson Fury puts on a boxing clinic through the excellent jab and footwork he showed against David Lemieux for the WBO belt in 2018, he could face being robbed on the cards in the same manner Gennady Golovkin, Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout were against Canelo.

“There goes Saunders’ chance of getting a decision if he had one,” warned one disgruntled punter. “70,000 Mexicans screaming every time Canelo throws a punch won’t help Saunders in the slightest.”

In any event, and despite some fans continuing to brand Saunders a “boring” dance partner for Alvarez, the build-up to the spectacle will be anything but dull.

A loudmouth often on the wrong side of the law with links to controversial former MTK boss Daniel Kinahan, the proud traveller is an elite trash-talker who will do whatever it takes to try to get in the head of his 30-year-old foe.
Also on rt.com ‘Of course I’ll talk to GSP & Khabib!’ Beterbiev teases crossover to MMA before world title bout in Moscow (VIDEO)


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