JUST days after winning the WBO middleweight title from Andy Lee, unbeaten Hatfield traveller Billy Joe Saunders is already eyeing his next challenge. Fresh from a decision victory that enabled the 26-year-old to add global glory to the British, Commonwealth and European belts he has held, Saunders is ready to venture Stateside to meet Puerto Rico’s only four-weight world champion, a legend almost nine years his senior.
“My promoter Frank Warren rang me yesterday and I had phone call off my manager,” Saunders told Boxing News. “It’s time for me to have a rest, but the interesting thing with Warren is that the Miguel Cotto fight could definitely be on the cards. If it comes off I’ll be a very happy man. If it happens I don’t think financially it would do as well here as in America. He’s a big name there and HBO are big backers of him.”
Saunders offers an interesting route back for Cotto, who lost on points to Canelo Alvarez in November. The Brit is not the biggest middleweight, holds a title and has just been showcased to the US audience, with his victory over Lee broadcast by Showtime. A fascinating backstory is that Saunders grew up admiring Cotto but now believes he can beat one of his old heroes.
“That fight would be a dream come true, one I’ve had since I was a young boy,” Saunders revealed. “I used to watch boxing with my dad, aged 12, 13 and Cotto was one we loved to watch, so to be fighting him… I can’t put it into words, I’ve admired him for so many years. It’s also a fight where I could go in there knowing I can win. He’s the right name at the right time, I think I can do a better job on him than Canelo Alvarez. Styles make fights and I’ve got the style to cause him problems.”