Billy Joe Saunders' title defense delayed again, wants to fight GGG next year

November 23, 2016

I think we’ve heard this one before.

WBO middleweight champ Billy Joe Saunders was supposed to fight Russia’s Artur Akavov originally on October 2nd, but Saunders suffered an injury and the fight was delayed to this coming Saturday, November 26th.

Now, apparently the fight has been delayed again.  It will be December 3rd now (postponed a week), because of some kind of a delay in the medical paperwork processing.

“It’s extremely frustrating for all parties and especially Billy who has been itching to get back into the ring following a frustrating 2016,” said Saunders’s promoter Frank Warren to Sky Sports.

Saunders said  “I was ready to put on a big performance and defend my title in style in Cardiff but unfortunately this latest issue was totally out of our control.  “The fight is still on, that’s the main thing and I’ll be fully prepared to defend my title in Scotland next week before moving on to a blockbuster fight in 2017.”

This fight has been largely panned, and no one is really considering it worthy of being called a title defense.  Saunders won his title last December against Andy Lee and hasn’t fought since.  This has really frustrated his fans and boxing fans in general, most of who think he is a poor excuse for a title holder.

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Regardless, Saunders says that he wants to fight the best.  His promoter told ESPN this:

“We’re talking to Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez and we would do our best to get them here, but that will be tough.

“Bill wants the toughest fight. He’s looking for a big fight in the first quarter of next year and we have got more chance of getting Golovkin over here. It would be a huge fight, the biggest of the year over here.

“Bill’s had injuries and pull-outs over the last year. Chris Eubank Jr. mucked us about and never signed a deal for a rematch, but hopefully Bill will get the ring rust off in this next one and then we can start looking forward to a really big one.”

I’ll believe it when I see it.  If Saunders ever actually faced Gennady Golovkin or Canelo Alvarez I think he would get decimated.  Saunders was offered a 7-figure payday after he won his title to face GGG (after he called him out repeatedly) but then backed out.  He then was offered a guaranteed fight with Golovkin if he beat one of Gabriel Rosado, Willie Monroe Jr., or Curtis Stevens, but he rejected all of those and chose to face Akavov instead.

I guess it would be cool to see GGG to face Saunders and unify the middleweight titles, but I would rather see him fight someone closer to his level after his mandatory defense against Danny Jacobs in the beginning of the year.

Maybe Alvarez would fight Saunders as a sort of post-injury warm-up before Golovkin mid-year.  That could set up Golovkin for a unification against Canelo in September, which is tentatively the time that they are planning to have their fight.  That would be the best case scenario in my eyes, but I have kind of given up on GGG-Canelo at this point because it seems like the negotiations have gone nowhere.  Plus who knows if Saunders will actually ever fight anybody.

See also:

Ward says he earned decision vs Kovalev, wants to fight at heavyweight

Lomachenko says Walters will only give him 4 tough rounds

Pacquiao feels like he’s in his 20’s, still wants to face Mayweather

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