Good news for UK boxing fans: You may not get to see any live boxing until the summer – at best – but there is a chance, because of this, you could end up getting the WBO super-middleweight title fight between Billy Joe Saunders and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez some time next year. Yes, next year – 2021.
That’s the best-case scenario, for UK fans at least, according to Daniel Matthews of Sportsmail, who wrote:
“Sources close to the event have told Sportsmail that any significant delay of the May 2 clash would leave Canelo too short of time to prepare for Golovkin.
“In that event, the Mexican is expected to move straight to the trilogy fight before a potential UK debut next May.
“That could see Canelo vs Golovkin III become the launch event of DAZN’s global service, meaning the so-called ‘Netflix of sport’ would have eight months to establish itself in the UK market before Canelo’s potential arrival to these shores.
“The Mexican has never fought outside the US and Mexico but should he meet Saunders here next May, he would follow other iconic fighters – such as Mike Tyson, Golovkin, and Vasily Lomachenko – who have brought their talents to this side of the Atlantic in recent decades.”
In the current climate, we’ll take whatever we can get. But spare a thought for Billy Joe Saunders. His career, since beating David Lemieux in 2017, has been struck down by its own form of virus – this despite winning an effectively meaningless WBO title at 168 pounds – and he could now be facing another 12-month wait to land the fight he has long been waiting and now preparing for.
In other coronavirus-related news – and let’s face it, that’s all you’ll be getting for the next three months – Bulgarian heavyweight Kubrat Pulev has announced that his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight title fight against Anthony Joshua is no longer taking place on June 20 in London.
He told BTV: “It is impossible for the fight to take place on June 20, although I am ready.
“The match will take place a few months later, perhaps towards the end of the year.”
But hold that thought. Because two hours after Pulev’s impromptu announcement his co-promoter, John Wirt of Epic Sports, cleared up what seems to be a misunderstanding by clarifying to BoxingScene: “I can confirm that we only told Kubrat that there is a chance that his fight will be postponed, but as of the moment, it is still scheduled for June 20.
“Since we never had a formal press conference to announce the fight and therefore tickets were not put on sale, there is no rush for us to make a decision now to postpone a fight that is still more than [three] months out.
“As more information becomes available and we begin to see how things are going to develop, we will be consulting with our partners at Matchroom and Top Rank about whether we need to push the June 20 date back to later this summer.”
Given the events of recent days, don’t believe a word they say. It was only a few days ago we were hearing how steely, go-getting promoters were set to bravely battle the virus and look for ways to seek opportunity in a time of worldwide crisis. Yeah. So much for that. Now every show they, and others, were so determined to ensure took place has been cancelled, leaving both the boxing calendar and boxers’ pockets empty for the foreseeable future.