Billy Joe Saunders will finally return to action this Saturday against lightly regarded challenger Artur Akavov, making the first defense of his WBO middleweight title since edging past Andy Lee to win the belt a year ago.
But Saunders’ real goal, he says, is to fight Gennady Golovkin, and he believes GGG is far from invincible:
"I'm ready to fight him where ever, in England, in America or in a field. There's nothing that can get in the way of stopping this. I'm not pricing myself out, I will fight any man born. He's a good puncher, a good puncher and has a good chin. But he's a man and he's definitely beatable."
Saunders (23-0, 12 KO) says also that he’s not taking Akavov (16-1, 7 KO) lightly, and that he’ll be prepared for anything the Russian throws his way. Akavov, 30, is still pretty much an unknown, but Saunders seems to rightly understand that this does not mean he can’t fight, just that he hasn’t proven it on a bigger stage yet.
As for Golovkin (36-0, 33 KO), he’s coming off of a pair of wins this year over Dominic Wade and Kell Brook, neither of which exactly got the world buzzing, but both stoppages that continued to show his dominance at 160 pounds.
Saunders, 27, was offered a fight with the 34-year-old Golovkin this past spring, but turned it down, seeking a bigger payday to take the risk. The WBO belt is the only major title in the division not currently in Golovkin’s possession, and he’s repeatedly stated his strong desire to unify all four belts, which would make him the division’s first undisputed champion since Jermain Taylor beat Bernard Hopkins in 2005.