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Billy Joe Saunders closing in on Canelo Alvarez bout

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders 29-0 (14) is on the verge of agreeing to terms for face Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 53-1-2 (36) on Cinco de Mayo weekend.

Jamie Conlan from Saunders’ management firm MTK Global said “everyone [is] in the right lane to make the fight happen” in Las Vegas on May 2.

“It is getting very likely that it will get done,” Conlan told Sky Sports.

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The opportunity to face Alvarez is widely regarded as the most glamourous and lucrative in the sport. Both Saunders and promotional stablemate Callum Smith were on the shortlist to face Alvarez but last week their promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed that initial offers were rejected.

“Not knocked it back, we just negotiated better terms,” Conlan explained. “Billy Joe is in the pole seat. We believe everyone is on the same side in terms of what fight needs to be made.

“It’s highly likely that the fight will be made. There are still some issues to be ironed out.

“Both fighters want it, both camps want it, everyone seems to be on the same side, we just have to hit the right number.

“They gave an initial deadline but the negotiations are at a point where there is no point backing out now.

“We’re nearly there.”

Slick boxing southpaw Saunders, 30, has held the WBO belt at both 160- and 168-pounds, making four title defences across the two weight classes.

“He believes he has the style to beat Canelo,” Conlan added. “Everyone at MTK believes he has the style to beat Canelo. It’s an interesting fight – the biggest of his career, the biggest of his life.

“We just need to make sure everything is right from his side.”

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