WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders 29-0 (14) is so confident he can beat Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 53-1-2 (36) that he is willing to forgo his purse if he loses.
The 30-year-old southpaw was originally scheduled to face the Mexican superstar in May before the global coronavirus pandemic shutdown boxing worldwide.
Alvarez’s next proposed fight date on September 12 – just five weeks away – but Saunders withdrew from negotiations saying he wouldn’t have enough time to prepare properly for the fight, particularly with lockdown restrictions in place.
WBA super middleweight champion Callum ‘Mundo’ Smith 27-0 (19) is now believed to be the frontrunner to face Alvarez, but the September date is now in jeopardy for a number of reasons including a date clash with the Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr exhibition bout.
Saunders offered some free advice to Alvarez.
“Listen, I’ll tell you the best thing for Canelo to do,” Saunders told iFL TV. “Wait until December and come to a proper super middleweight, a proper champion. Wait until December, then let’s go. December, we’re ready, let’s go.
“Fair, even playing field, no robbery.
“I’ll you what I’ll do – the money I’ve signed for, keep it. I swear to God, I’ll let you keep it. If he wants to come to England I’ll let him keep [the money] and I’ll fight him for free.
“If I beat him, pay me what I’m contracted. If I don’t, don’t pay me. That’s how fair I can be. That’s how confident I am of beating him.”
Former WBO cruiserweight champion and Sky Sports commentator Johnny Nelson accused Alvarez of being risk-averse and following in the footsteps of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“Canelo knows there are fighters out there that will take the chance and go in at short notice even though he’s [Canelo] been training for 15 years in preparation for this fight,” Nelson said to iFL TV.
“But would Billy Joe still be a winner? If he took gambles like this and stepped in at the last minute against the likes of Canelo, then look at Kell [Brook], who took a risk against [Gennadiy] Golovkin.
“I’m not saying he stepped in at short notice, but he took a risk. You’ve got fighters that don’t take risks.
“They keep winning and winning and getting themselves in where they can cherry-pick as Canelo and Mayweather did.”