It’s no secret that Billy Joe Saunders has long been hoping to land a major fight against Canelo Alvarez, but with the current state of the world (regarding COVID-19) and the real possibility fans might not be able to attend live, Saunders just couldn’t live with the notice and the purse Golden Boy was offering.
“Listen, they didn’t want to give me proper time to train and they wanted to take millions of pounds from me,” Saunders exclusively told World Boxing News. “We all sat down at MTK and had a chat. We decided that if they aren’t going to do it properly we move on. Canelo hadn’t even signed the contract yet. Only my signature was on it.”
Now regarding his complaint of not enough time to train properly, I’m not exactly sure what that is about. Canelo is expected to return around Mexican Independence Day weekend in September and that would presumably offer Saunders plenty of time for a full training camp. The purse part, however, makes much more sense. Why hold out for a Canelo jackpot for all this time if you’re only going to earn a fraction of what you otherwise would make with a live gate? Yes, yes, I know legacy is a thing, but forgive me if I think that’s just generally less well regarded than money.
That said, Saunders say he’s not going into a Canelo fight for just a payday, but obviously cited the payday more than once.
“I want to give the fans proper fights. But if they (Team Canelo) are trying to take money away and giving me less time, then it won’t happen.”
Saunders now says he’s turning his attention to another potential opponent for Canelo, Callum Smith for December. Saunders says that’ll be a massive fight but probably more so in the UK than outside of it. But who knows, maybe Smith signs a deal to fight Canelo and Saunders will have to look to Demetrius Andrade or a rematch with Chris Eubank Jr.