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Billy Joe Saunders missed the boat against Canelo Alvarez, says Bernard Hopkins

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) may never get another chance to fight Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 53-1-2 (36), according to Bernard Hopkins.

The 30-year-old British southpaw was expected to face Alvarez on Cinco de Mayo before the global coronavirus pandemic shutdown boxing worldwide.

Saunders was still in the mix to face Alvarez in September before suggesting he didn’t have enough time to properly prepare for the fight.

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Hopkins, who works for Alvarez’s promoter Golden Boy Promotions, has warned Saunders the decision will likely cost him any future opportunity against the four-division titleholder.

“You should always be prepared,” Hopkins told Sky Sports.

The Hall of Famer said he was surprised by Saunders’ decision.

“It did, because Billy Joe Saunders is not a rookie in the game.

“Billy Joe Saunders has been in some highlighted moments. He understands, he had a taste of the high level.”

Alvarez, 29, has no shortage of options for his next fight. Two names in the mix are Callum Smith and John Ryder, while discussions are also ongoing for a third fight against Gennadiy Golovkin next year.

As for Saunders, he may have missed the boat.

“He missed out and there’s no guarantee, especially in the world of boxing, that Billy [Joe] Saunders will get a call from anybody, pertaining a world champion, the biggest spotlight you can get – pandemic or not – opportunity,” Hopkins continued.

The last time Alvarez was in action he knocked out WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in the 11th round of a close fight in Las Vegas in November last year.

Despite the possibility of Alvarez’s next fight taking place without a live crowd, Hopkins insists the Golden Boy star won’t be looking for a soft touch.

“It has to be someone that will keep him honest, because you want to make a statement every time at that level where Canelo is at,” he said.

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