Billy Joe Saunders says he has the boxing brain to dethrone pound-for-pound king Canelo Alvarez in their blockbuster Super-Middleweight unification battle on Saturday night (May 8), live worldwide on DAZN and distributed by TV Azteca in Mexico and Latin America.
Unbeaten Briton Saunders (30-0 18 KOs) puts his WBO strap on the line for the third time against the Mexican star and is aiming to add the WBC and WBA Super belts held by the Mexican sensation.
Saunders has been widely regarded as having the ring smarts to be the man to hand Canelo a first defeat in eight years and be the man to take the next step to being undisputed at 168 pounds, and the 31 year old says fighting Canelo on Cinco de Mayo weekend holds no fear.
“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.”
Alvarez and Saunders clash on a huge night of action in Texas with a stacked undercard in support of the mammoth main event, with Elwin Soto (18-1 12 KOs) defending his WBO World Light-Flyweight title against Katsunari Takayama (32-8 12 KOs).
Kieron Conway (16-1-1 3 KOs) defends his WBA Intercontinental Super-Welterweight title against Souleymane Cissokho (12-0 8 KOs), Eddy Reynoso trained Cuban Heavyweight Frank Sanchez (17-0 13 KOs) meets Nagy Aguilera (21-10 14 KOs), Mexican-American talent Marc Castro (2-0 2 KOs) fights on his third Canelo undercard, Castro’s old amateur foe Keyshawn Davis (2-0 2 KOs) faces Jose Antonio Meza (6-4 1 KO) over six rounds and it’s a family affair on the night with Keyshawn’s brother Kelvin Davis (1-0 1 KO) fights for the second time in the paid ranks, with Mexican Welterweight Christian Alan Gomez Duran (19-2-1 17 KOs) celebrating Cinco De Mayo weekend over eight rounds against an opponent to be named soon.
Photo: Matchroom Boxing
Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders will clash in front of over 60,000 fans in a World Super-Middleweight title unification blockbuster at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Saturday May 8, live worldwide on DAZN. Pre-sales for the blockbuster fight will start on Tuesday March 23 with general sale beginning on Friday March 26 at SeatGeek.com.
Mexican superstar Canelo puts his WBC, WBA Super and Ring Magazine titles on the line at the Home of the Dallas Cowboys on Cinco de Mayo weekend, as British favorite Saunders brings his WBO strap across the pond and looks to extend his unbeaten pro record against the pound-for-pound king in front of the biggest sporting crowd for over a year in the US.
“We are proud to host a boxing match of this magnitude as we welcome back Canelo Alvarez to AT&T Stadium to take on Billy Joe Saunders,” said Dallas Cowboys Owner, President and General Manager Jerry Jones. “AT&T Stadium was built to house the greatest sporting events on the planet, and we feel we have another incredible boxing event on the horizon with this matchup taking place in Arlington on May 8th.”
Saunders is the fourth Briton to face the Mexican star and the second to do so at AT&T Stadium, after Canelo defeated Liam Smith there in September 2016. May 8 will also be the fifth stadium show for Canelo in the Lone Star state having fought twice at the Alamodome in San Antonio and at Minute Maid Park, Home of the Houston Astros.
“It’s an absolute honor to bring this huge event to the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on May 8,” said Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Sport. “Last year Canelo missed out on his historic Cinco De Mayo fight, and to bring over 60,000 fans together at this iconic stadium this year is a dream come true.
“This fight is the biggest of 2021 so far with Canelo looking to unify the division once more against undefeated two-weight World champion Billy Joe Saunders. We want to thank Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys and AT&T Stadium for their efforts to bring this global event to their stunning facility and we look forward to giving the fans a momentous occasion and a Cinco de Mayo celebration they will never forget.”
Tickets go on pre-sale on Tuesday March 23 from 10am CT, with tickets starting from just $40 (plus fees. Pre-sale ends at 10pm CT on Thursday March 25, and tickets then go on general sale at 10am CT on Friday March 26 at SeatGeek.com
Unified 168-pound champion Canelo Alvarez(55-1-2, 37 KOs) did what many expected him to do on Saturday night when he easily defeated WBC mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim by TKO in three rounds at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.
Now, he’s looking to get more belts at 168 when he battles WBO 168-pound champion Billy Joe Saunders, in a unification bout on May 8(DAZN).
The fight was officially announced after Canelo’s victory over Yildirim.
Saunders (30-0 14 KOs) will be putting his WBO strap on the line for the third time. The last time we saw Saunders, he defeated Martin Murray by unanimous decision back in December.
According to Saunders, he has everything he needs to beat Canelo.
“Canelo, I’m ready to rock and roll,” said Saunders. “You have to dare to be great, and you aren’t going to be a great if you don’t beat the greats.
“I believe I am the only one with the footwork, know-how, skillset, mindset, and brain to unlock that door in Canelo.
“He’s the main man in the sport and the face of boxing. You have to give him respect; he hasn’t ducked anyone, he’s beaten good names, but nobody is unbeatable, and I believe I have got the tools to beat him if I use them properly and if the gamelan comes off that I believe works.”
Canelo’s sole focus is to get all the belts at 168, and defeating Saunders gets him one step closer to that goal.
“We want to unify the division; he’s a world champion, we want to go for it, and we need to go for it,” said Canelo. “He’s a very difficult fighter and has a championship, the WBO.
“People talk, but I’m a very mature fighter, and I know how to control myself. All I need to do is go into the ring, win and make history.
“It’s because it hasn’t been done; no one has done it in Latin America. In the world, only a few fighters have done it, the best. I want to make history and be one of the best in the world.”
Demetrius Andrade hopes to finally get to face bitter rival Billy Joe Saunders when boxing returns – and told Matchroom Boxing’s Podcast ‘The Lockdown Tapes’ that he would ‘bust up’ the Brit if they clashed.
Andrade (29-0 18 KOs) was due to face Saunders in October 2018 for the Londoner’s WBO crown but the Briton failed a drugs test and subsequently relinquished the title.
Andrade would win the vacant belt against Walter Kautondokwa in Boston and has since defended the title with imposing wins over Artur Akavov, Maciej Sulecki and Luke Keeler. The Rhode Island star has been hunting a massive fight to stamp his authority on the 160lbs division before moving up to Super-Middleweight, and the 32 year old ran the rule over his rivals at both weights as he itches to get back in the ring.
“I was willing to fight Billy Joe after a 15 month lay-off but that didn’t happen and I am willing to fight him again,” said Andrade. “If I can’t get Canelo then it’s Billy Joe or Charlo at 160. At 168 we’ve got Callum Smith. I would bust Billy Joe Saunders up at 160 or 168, that’s not a problem.
“I consider Danny Jacobs one of the best Middleweights out there, but would I fight him, yeah! If it came to the point where we were going to make X amount, then we could make it happen, but I grew up with him and we have a brothership and mutual connections. Fighting him isn’t something I’m looking to do.
“I don’t want to talk about Liam Williams because there is nothing to talk about. What do I have to say? We know Jacobs, Canelo, GGG, Sergey Derevyenchenko and Billy Joe want to fight, who am I going to fight? Billy Joe or Liam Williams? Who do you want to see?
“I saw Billy Joe in the airport not too long ago. He said ‘what do you think about me and you?’ and I told him ‘he doesn’t want to fight me and for him to go and enjoy his life’.
“It might be Williams but I’m not fighting Canelo or Charlo or Billy Joe behind closed doors because I want to shut them up in front of people! And tell them ‘It’s me again’!”
MONTREAL (Dec. 14, 2017) – WBO World Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders (25-0, 12 KOs) and former IBF World Middleweight Champion David Lemieux (38-3, 33 KOs) hosted their final press conference on Thursday for their WBO World Middleweight Championship fight that will take place this upcoming Saturday, Dec. 16 at Place Bell in Laval, Québec.
Here is what the participants had to say:
BILLY JOE SAUNDERS, WBO World Middleweight Champion
“I’ve been in the ring 25 times now, and in a lot of those fights, I’ve been the underdog, bigtime. And in those fights, I was outboxed 60 per cent of the time. When you don’t love boxing and you’re still winning, and you look back and wonder, ‘how did I do that? How did I get through that?’ But when you do find a love for it, and you have good people working around you, people who make you happy – there’s a saying, a happy fighter is a thankful fighter. And I haven’t been this happy since my amateur days. For the last six or seven months, I’ve never been happier. I’m excited to get into the ring. I’m excited to get into the ring and eager to put on a classic display. Because not only am I mixing it with a boxer who is in the top-5, but I’ll be fighting in front of great fighters I’ve watched as a kid, like Bernard Hopkins and Oscar De La Hoya.”
“David has to come from round one and try to knock me out. Because when he’s eating fresh air, he’s very injury prone. But what I don’t want from David’s team are excuses. David is a good fighter, he’s mixed it with Golovkin at a very elite level. But some boxers are not quite enough to be at that elite level. And David, you’re not quite good enough. Am I good enough? We’ll soon see. In my own mind, I know I can deal with it, and then with Golovkin or Canelo, we’ll see where I really am.”
DAVID LEMIEUX, Former IBF World Middleweight Champion
“The time to talk is over and now it’s time to let the fists do the talk and show you who the real World Champion is. A lot of things are going to happen on Saturday, but my promise to you is that by the time I will leave Place Bell, I will have the WBO belt on me. I will be World Champion. I’m ready to give you guys a great evening of boxing. Saunders made a lot of promises, about his chin, about his purse, and that’s something I haven’t forgotten.”
Let’s see for how long you will be able to back up those words and put them together again this Saturday. I’m well aware of your abilities, I hope you are aware of mine. I’m not just a puncher. People like to see blood and big punches, and that’s what they’ll see on Saturday.”
CAMILLE ESTEPHAN, President of Eye of the Tiger Management
“We promised, we delivered, the goal was to offer the best boxing card in Quebec, and that is what we will deliver. The ultimate goal and what we want to make sure of, is that David Lemieux becomes World Champion again. He’s the real deal, he’s a man who represents our team as well as the province of Quebec with pride. I am so proud of the person and the athlete that he is, and also of all the efforts he’s put into this, inside the ring as well as outside.”
ERIC GOMEZ, President of Golden Boy Promotions
“This really is a historic event. Four different promoters here in Montreal. I want to thank Billy Joe Saunders for coming out here, we have great respect for you. He truly wants to be great. We are really excited for David, to have this other opportunity to be champion again. The fact that he is now able to give the fans in Montreal, an exciting fight, another world title is truly exceptional. This promises to be a historic event.”
PETER NELSON, Executive Vice president of HBO Sports
“It’s always great having shows in Quebec. Media always shows up, true fight fans always shows up. It’s truly wonderful when the sport works together to make great fights possible. There is no predetermined results in boxing. On Saturday night, we expect that all three fights are going to be 50/50 fights. I want to particularly thank the champion Billy Joe Saunders for stepping up and coming up into enemy territory to fight on David’s turf. I want to thank David Lemieux who’s never backed away from a great fight, who’s always stepped up for great challenges that’s been put in front of him like this one. We commend fighters like him, and we reward fighters like him. Sometimes, putting on events like this is complicated, but in this case, it was easy, because both fighters wanted to put on a great event. And that is, I think, what we are going to see on Saturday, from top to bottom of the show. “
BERNARD HOPKINS, Future Hall of Famer and Golden Boy Promotions Partner
“David Lemieux… Billy Joe Saunders… They both have the goods to carry on in the middleweight division, over the next year, 2018, with an excitement of what’s going to happen next. I look at this fight… We have two guys whose styles really go together. When you have that type of skills and that type of matchup, you’re going to have fireworks. Anyone that underestimates a fighter that Frank Warren brings over, from wherever he brings him from, you gotta take that seriously. I know from experience that he didn’t come here to lay down, he didn’t come here to give anything away. So David Lemieux has to know that he needs to be at his best. Both fighters now have the opportunity to become superstars in their weight division, but first they have to pass the test that comes Saturday. After the works that’s been done so far, the best is to come. “
FRANK WARREN, President of Frank Warren Promotions
“I think you’re in for something very special on Saturday. This is a great athlete I’m involved with, Billy Joe Saunders is a fantastic ambassador for British boxing, and he’s done everything the hard way, all the titles he’s won. He’s here, he’s in David’s backyard, and I think we’re going to see something very special, because we have two boxing styles that complement each other well. Billy’s a very smart boxer, he’s got a great chin, he’s never been on the floor whether it be in the amateurs or the pros, he’s gotten himself into a fantastic position at the moment. He’s in top shape physically and mentally. I think this has the potential to be the fight of the year. “
DOMINIC INGLE, Trainer to Billy Joe Saunders
“It’s going to be a great fight, it’s a 50/50 fight. I’ve always said that Billy Joe can walk the talk and walk the walk. Interesting analogy of Bernard Hopkins of boxing being like a book and a story. I think he is right, I’m reading the first chapter of Billy Joe Saunders. But I think we’re on the final chapter of David Lemieux. And he’s not going to have a fairy tale ending. This is a classic Bull and Matador fight. David can punch, Billy can box. And I can tell you that on Saturday, Billy Joe Saunders will be leaving the ring still WBO World Middleweight Champion.
MONTREAL (Dec. 12, 2017) Golden Boy Promotions and Eye of the Tiger Management, in association with Frank Warren and Vidéotron, today hosted a media workout for the upcoming WBO Middleweight World Championship fight between Billy Joe Saunders (25-0, 12 KOs) and David Lemieux (38-3, 33 KOs), set to take place thisSaturday, Dec. 16 at Place Bell in Laval, Quebec, Canada. The evening’s co-main event will feature Antoine “Action” Douglas (22-1-1, 16 KOs) against Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (26-2, 18 KOs) for the WBO Intercontinental Middleweight title while Cletus “Hebrew Hammer” Seldin (21-0, 17 KOs) will face off against Yves Ulysse, Jr. (14-1, 9 KOs) in the opener of the HBO World Championship Boxing event that will kick off live at9:40 pm ET/PT.
Here is what the participants had to say at today’s media workout:
BILLY JOE SAUNDERS, WBO Middleweight World Champion:
“I’m used to fight outside the UK, I’m a traveler of the world. I don’t care if there’s a million people. It’s just me and him in that ring, end of the story. As for the rest, I don’t care.
“David has no chance of winning, and I’m convinced that he will not make the distance against me. I’m willing to bet part of my purse to charity if I lose and the winner will choose which charity to give it to. I’m not here for the money or anything like that, I’m here to make a statement. There’s no point in talking anymore, all that matters now is what happens on Saturday.”
DAVID LEMIEUX, Former IBF Middleweight World Champion:
“I’ve never said that I doubted his chin. Regardless he will hit the floor. And whether I win by knock out or go 12 rounds, it’s no matter. But I will drop him and I will hurt him.
“There are a lot of fans in England who’ve written to me because they don’t like Saunders, and they want me to get rid of him. I’ll do everyone a favor, I’ll take care of him.”
ANTOINE DOUGLAS, Middleweight Contender:
“I’m very exited to have the opportunity to fight on HBO. I had a very strong camp, moved up to Jersey with my team. I’m prepared to fight 10 explosive rounds and give fans in Canada a show to remember.”
GARY O’SULLIVAN, Former WBC International Silver Super Lightweight Champion and Middleweight Contender:
“It’s absolutely fantastic to fight here on HBO! It’s a very big opportunity, and it’s nice to be here. To me, fighting out of town makes no difference because I fought most of my career out of town – the US, the UK, and I come from Ireland.”
CLETUS SELDIN, Super Lightweight Contender:
“I’m nice outside the ring but once I’m inside the ring, I become an animal that I can’t even contain. I don’t come to score points but to do damage and hurt, and that’s the difference between me and Ulysse, Jr. My trainer and I have studied Yves Ulysse, Jr. and we know he is a solid boxer-puncher who fights with intensity and angles. He can try to dance like Sugar Ray Leonard but he is not Leonard. His strategy will not work against me, I’m very excited about being able to get back on the ring quickly and it’s an honor to be part of such a big event.”
YVES ULYSSE, JR., Super Lightweight Contender:
“He’s a high-calibre fighter, it’s gonna make a great show! I know that this fight will bring out my character, what kind of person I am. Every time I’ve faced obstacles, I’ve always responded with strength. I will do it again.”
Saunders vs. Lemieux, a 12-round fight for the Saunders’ WBO World Middleweight Championship, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Eye of the Tiger Management in association with Frank Warren. Douglas vs. O’Sullivan is a 10-round fight for the WBO Intercontinental Middleweight Title presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Eye of The Tiger Management in association with GH3 Promotions and Murphy’s Boxing. Seldin vs. Ulysse, Jr. is a 10-round super lightweight fight presented by Golden Boy Promotions, Eye of The Tiger Management and Star Boxing. The event will take place Saturday, Dec. 16 at Place Bell in Laval, Quebec, Canada and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 9:40 p.m. ET/PT.
Photo: Vincent Ethier / Eye of the Tiger Management
WBO World Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders (25-0, 12 KOs) and former IBF World Middleweight Champion David Lemieux (38-3, 33 KOs) will battle on December 16 at the Place Bell in Laval, Quebec.
For Saunders, this is opportunity to prove he is one of the top middleweights in the world:
“This fight has good fight written all over it. There is a lot at stake. I’m going to be very aware because as you all know, boxing is a funny game, it can end very quickly with one punch. And it goes both ways. David is going to eat some, and he’s going to beg me to finish him off,” Saunders said at a press conference today.
“Styles make fight. It’s the classic match-up between the boxer and the puncher and I’m looking forward to it. I was born to fight, and I’m going to prove it by unifying the belts as soon as I’m done with David. Lemieux shows a lot of heart when he comes to fight but the real truth is, I’m to slick and too good for him.”
If Saunders wins, he wants the winner of Canelo-GGG
“I’m in boxing to win and defend my belt all over the world, Lemieux is my tester for the winner of Canelo and Golovkin,” Saunders said.
Photos: Vincent Ethier / Eye of the Tiger Management