This Saturday sees one of those occasions where you could start to believe a bit of the hype and let your heart start making your predictions instead of your head.
Unbeaten Brit, Billy Joe Saunders, 30/0/0 (14 KOs), faces a boxer who’s widely regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Canelo Alvarez, 55/1/2 (37 KOs), who has been a pro since 2006, now faces the skilled southpaw at the home of the Dallas Cowboys in Texas in front of 70,000 fans.
No stranger to controversy, Billy Joe has kept an uncharacteristically low profile over the last couple of weeks, saving some of his criticisms for promoter Eddie Hearn rather than the opponent he will face in the biggest fight of his life. Billy Joe believes that the Canelo has been shown favouritism by promoters and TV networks alike.
It could well be Billy Joe is in his ‘me vs the world’ frame of mind, which isn’t a bad place to be when he faces such a daunting task.
Canelo is undoubtedly the fans’ favourite, having dealt with all comers at different weights. He started his career as a Super-Lightweight and in 2019 moved up to KO Sergey Kovalev in 11 for the WBO Light-Heavyweight crown. With his brilliant boxing brain, KO punch power, and recent form, it’s easy to see why he’s also the bookies clear favourite.
But, if the heart starts talking instead of the head, you can see how Billy Joe could do it.
He was not only an outstanding amateur but has also been undefeated in 30 professional contests. Teaming up again with the highly regarded trainer Mark Tibbs, he has been working out stateside with Tyson Fury and his eye is firmly on the prize. Having previously ballooned in weight between fights, recently we’ve seen a different Billy Joe and as appears the norm, the better the opponent, the more focused the Billy Joe Saunders.
Billy Joe has great boxing ability, is an awkward southpaw, has a great team in place and his head is in the game. This is the biggest fight of his life and he knows it.
My heart is saying that this could be a repeat of the massive 1986 upset between Brit Lloyd Honeyghan vs the pound-for-pound king Donald Curry who was stopped in six, but my head is saying that Canelo should be too strong for him and will win in the mid-to-later rounds.