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Saunders: This fight is all about the brain

Billy Joe Saunders
Photo: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom

Billy Joe Saunders says he has the boxing brain to dethrone pound-for-pound king Canelo Alvarez in their WBA/WBC/WBO super middleweight unification battle on Saturday night on DAZN.

“This fight is all about the brain,” said Saunders. “Not about power, muscle or skill, it’s the brain and the game plan, and being able to execute that game plan. I brush opinions off because I know what goes through my head and my mind, and what I have done in my career is through the will and want to win, and the day I lose that, I won’t put a pair of gloves on again.

“I can only control what I am in control of and that myself, not what is outside the ring. It’s going to be a great fight it’s one I’ve wanted for years and it’s finally landed. There’s a lot at stake for both of us. Would I like my fans there? Yes. Would I like UK media there? Yes. If the fight was moved to the Mexican border I wouldn’t care.

“I have my own way of approaching the fight and Canelo will have too, he’s done this nearly 60 times. I’ll get in there as the best that I can be and that’s all I can control.

“I’ve been the underdog before, I’ve been the away fighter before, it’s not a new position, but I’m just in with a better opponent this time.

“If I go in there and I win, I’m not going to run and say never again, I’ll fight him again, I’ll fight anyone, anywhere, it doesn’t bother me. It’s good for boxing sometimes when the underdogs come through, and I don’t just mean me here, because it puts the sport on a higher platform to be watched.

“I’m at the top of the tree where I’ve done it all as an amateur, I’ve had 30 fights, I’m unbeaten, won every title coming through, two-weight world champion – I can sit back at night and say I’m top of the pile fighting the pound-for-pound king.”

Billy Joe Saunders vs Canelo Alvarez Fight Lines
Acosta debuts on Telemundo Friday

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  • Saunders “If I go in there and i win” says it all. He is tough mentally but that only takes you so far. To me he is not as precise in his execution as Canelo. If he fights Canelo the way he fought Eubank, it could be over in 6 rounds. Canelo doesn’t waste too many punches and he is lethal when he finds an oppening.

    • Your last statement hits it on the head. You are right, Canelo does not waste punches and is lethal when he finds that opening especially with those counter hooks. I am sure Canelo has stepped up his training this time to cut the ring off even better than before.

      • we see canelo time and time again be so dominant against so many opponents, but they have one thing in common, they stand right in front of him, lara, trout mayweather didn’t and those guys caused him fits, bjs not only a southpaw but very good at using the whole ring all 22 ft of it, i think if canelo finds himself chasing and trying to solve bjs’s rhythm it could be a long night, if he can out box bjs he will be a champion a long time, bjs by dec.

        • Brian, you are right in the fact that Sanders will use the whole ring with angles/movement. In my opinion, BJS will be very busy moving on the heels of feet when Canelo comes in with these thunderous counters. BJS will have to engage Canelo in order to score points for a victory. That can be very dangerous to do when you engage a heavy counter-puncher with some speed behind it.

    • if Saunders can Run, jab and counter for 12 rounds he could make it competitive.
      will see.. doubt it

    • Anytime you listen to BJS talk he was never confident of beating Canelo. According to BJS, he didnt even deserve the Canelo fight based on his recent performances.
      Always needed another couple more fights. This talk has to give Team Canelo more confidence by the day.
      This is BJS fu*k or walk moment his big mouth earned him.

    • The Eubank fight was a lifetime ago. In terms of boxing 2014 was another era. 31 is prime.

      I’ll still take Canelo in this because I don’t think Saunders has a plan besides feigning and moving away. A guy like Canelo at this point in his career has evolved from the Mayweather fight. He will have an answer for the movement on Saturday. No doubt about it.

      There is of course one outsider shot that the recent fights Canelo has had, helped to make him look great. GGG stands and fights. Kovalev stands and fights. Smith stands and fights. Jacobs stands and fights.

      Etc, etc. I think you might get my point here. The closest example to Saunders I can see here was Lara, who lost a SD to Canelo so very long ago.

      I’m not seeing a 1/4 underdog. I’m seeing a closer fight than that. A SD victory for Canelo and maybe even some hometown cooking. I think his answer will keep him close enough to win on points but this will not be one of those recent Canelo fights. Be certain of that.

  • I’m no Canelo fan but I hope he kicks this boring clowns ass. I remember when Saunder’s LadyBoy son punched Willie Monroe in the nuts during the weigh in. Monroe should have slapped that disrespectful little lady boy for pulling that stunt.

  • BJS has a, good chance here, his style is all wrong for Canelo.

    I’ve got a few concerns tho, his stamina down the stretch, how fit is he really? Does 1 great camp improve your stamina that much, or does the level of stamina hell need to fend off the ever pressuring Canelo come from camp after camp of pushing yourself to the limits and beyond?

    The judges, who ever got a fair shake from the judges against Canelo? Not Mayweather (1 judge had it a draw), not GGG (1st fight), not Trout (scores were way too wide) and not Lara.

    Having said all that I think BJS gives Canelo his hardest technical fight since Mayweather and can win this one.

  • BJS will use everything he has to make Canelo shots miss but the million dollar question will be: Will he be able to clearly connect his shots in the eyes of the judges if he wont be able to KO Canelo to get the W? Let’s see come Saturday night what kind of boxing will emerge as a Sport or Business.

  • I think the best BJS can hope for here is a draw.
    He’s not knocking Canelo out obviously and I doubt he’ll win a points decision if the rounds are close.
    It either has to be a complete masterclass where the judges have no option but to give it to him or it’s a draw.
    He is one of those fighters that does rise to the occasion/opponent though and has good skills and a good chin.
    I do think though,with the way Canelo has improved over the last 5 years that eventually he’ll cut the ring off and catch up to him.
    And, Canelo is great at applying pressure without wasting energy just by his presence-walking forward,waiting to counter.
    Exhausting for an opponent.

  • BJS will need to KO Canelo to get a draw. He’s not a very nice man and karma is a bitch.

  • Canelo does not waste punches. True. He is also difficult to target. He is more or less impossible to KO, especially for a boxer lika BJS.

    BJS must manage Canelo and get the rounds clear enough to pile them up. If he succeeds, I hope he does, because I want a competitive fight, at the end of the fight BJS must have enough left in his body and conditioning to survive all 12 rounds.

    Can he get the rounds from the referees? I doubt. I would stand up and scream if that would be the outcome of the fight, but I cannot see it happen.

    • “Can he get the rounds from the referees?”
      – I think that you meant to say “judges” instead of “referees”.
      Take care.
      – Gary G

  • Not to be rude, but Canelo will knock out BJJ in 3 or 4 rounds.

    • If he stands in front of him like Fielding, Smith or Yildirim maybe, but that’s not likely happening.

      I pick BJS to outbox Canelo but lose a decision.

      Could be wrong.

  • BJS can win the fight if he manages to make Canelo like a clown otherwise he risks getting choked

  • Very professional, courteous, smart and respectful words. Win or lose, full respect for both.

  • Sounds like a retirement party to me. I brush opinions off because I know what goes through my head and my mind, and what I have done in my career is through the will and want to win, and the day I lose that, I won’t put a pair of gloves on again.

  • I agree and believe he can win. It will be interesting to see how Canelo deals with the speed, angles and overall superior ring generalship BillyJoe has. I know Canelo has come a long way since Floyd. Let’s see. Since the Floyd lose tho Canelo has never really fought another floyd like style until now.

  • If Saunders can stay from Canelo’s body shots, he may have a chance at scoring an upset. BUT if the fight goes the distance and we all believe Saunders, Canelo will win controversially. That’s just the way boxing is these days. Right?

  • he is right. this will be kirkland lange against roberto duran…saunders will not be hit. .sheesh…kovalev was winning before he got caught and he never ever was even close to the boxer saunders is…EASY EASY EASY

  • Sounds like Saunders has been watching too many Van Damme movies. He’s stepping up in class here against Canelo. He doesn’t have the power to knock out Canelo and can’t outbox him. The outcome of this fight will depend on how well he can take Canelo’s punch. Canelo will take his time, get his timing right, and boom. I don’t think Saunders can take Canelo’s power shots (few can), and this fight will end early.

  • Should be a goo fight with the possibility of Sauners winning.

  • A UD win for Canelo as BJS doesn’t have the power to keep the pressure off of him. I see this fight going similar to the Smith fight, where Canelo breaks him down for the win. I see Canelo peppering BJS’s arms initially and working the body to lower his arms. BJS does not bring anything to the table that Canelo has not already seen, he has faced far superior boxers at this point. Easy win for Canelo as he unifies and defeats Caleb to become undisputed Super Middle Champion. There is no one at this point that can tame him at 168 pounds. Lots of good fights out there but none that will concern him, especially now that he is fighting back to back fights which is keeping him active/sharp.

  • During the first 3-4 rounds of the fight, it would not shock me if BJS applies pressure and moderate aggression to make Canelo fight backwards; and BJS wants to see if he has any physical strength advantages over Canelo. However, I am pretty sure BJS will later change his mind after Canelo rips some body punches on him.

  • BJS will win more rounds and lose the fight on the judges scorecards because the fight is in texas. he will out land canelo over the first half of the fight but canelo will keep walking him down. i personally have not seen much growth out of canelo since the mayweather fight other than the head moment he uses now. he pretty much still just plods forward trying to break his opponent down. all BJS has to do is move every time canelo plants his lead foot. when he lifts his foot, jab him, when he plants it, move. canelo can only punch after he plants the lead foot. if BJS recognizes that he can win with movement. but the homecooking is in as the judges will be affected by the crowd that roars every time canelo swings.

  • this is a interesting fight Billy Joe Saunders doesnt get tired easily, can canelo handle his pressure?

  • The only thing Saunders will do well in the ring against Canelo is run around his big ring. Easy fight for Canelo

  • My prediction hasn’t changed for this fight. Been saying it before it was announced, BJS will outbox and outpoint Canelo but will be robbed on the cards. I’m fact, the judges are probably filling out the scorecards as I type this.

    • Canelo does have the judges but won’t need them in this one.

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