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Billy Joe Saunders says Canelo Alvarez is past his best

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) believes world middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 53-1-2 (36) has already peaked as a fighter while he still has room to improve.

Saunders, 30, was expected to face Alvarez on May 2 but those plans are now on hold due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

“I rate him as the best pound-for-pound at the moment,” Saunders said on Instagram live with promoter Eddie Hearn.

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“For me to defeat him, it’s just not about money, don’t get me wrong, we’re all in it for the money, but for me, if they were to say, ‘you’re definitely going to win, but you’re going to go home and you’re not having a penny, I’d say ‘yes, let’s do that.’

“For me it’s all about winning. I really do rate him, I think that he’s a brilliant fighter, he’s complete, but the thing is – I believe that we’ve seen the best of him.

“We haven’t seen the best of me yet. I have seen the absolute best of him, the Golovkin fight twice, the Danny Jacobs fight, he’s not going to get any better than that.

“I believe on my night, as long as everything is bang on right for me, I believe I’ve got the beating of Canelo Alvarez, but he’s a brilliant champion. You have to beat the best to be the best.”

If the proposed Saunders-Alvarez fight does fall over, another opportunity is a unification clash with WBA boss Callum Smith 27-0 (19) in an all-British showdown.

Saunders says he thought Smith lost his last fight against John Ryder in November.

“I believe that it was a close, close fight. If John Ryder were to get the nod, you couldn’t have really complained,” said Saunders.

“I had him (Ryder) probably one or two ahead, but Callum Smith is also a great fighter and I believe if the Canelo fight didn’t happen for me, or him, it’s the only fight that really makes sense for the UK fans, whether that’s at Anfield or York Hall.”

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