WBO super-middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders announced his move to new promotional stable Matchroom yesterday, flush with hope that the development would lead eventually to major fights with Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin and Callum Smith.
Mexican star Alvarez is the fight that Saunders, understandably, craves. “It’s got to be Canelo because of the stature of who he’s beat,” Billy Joe said. “It’s a fight I know and believe in my own mind that I can win. I’ll be happy enough to say, ‘Whatever I’m earning, just let him match it and the winner takes it all’. That’s how happy and confident I’d be to fight him and beat him. It’s not about the money it’s about establishing my name and retiring with a status like Joe Calzaghe and Ricky Hatton did.”
Intriguingly out of the trio of Golovkin, Alvarez and Callum Smith, it’s Liverpool’s WBA 168lbs champion that Saunders considers the most difficult for him. “Callum Smith’s a hard fight. Even though he’s not the biggest name, Callum Smith’s a hard fight. The size and the attributes he brings. No doubt if Canelo was fighting Callum Smith there would be a rehydration clause most definitely,” Billy Joe said. “If he took that away from Callum Smith, that’s a big advantage to take away from him. I’m going to say he would be the hardest fight just because of his style and his size. But there are a lot of holes that a world class fighter could pick out in Callum but you’ve definitely got to say Callum Smith because of his size.”
Though he adds, “There’s a few flaws that I know are in Callum Smith, that Joe Gallagher and Callum probably even know themselves. It’s too far [gone] to iron them right out.”
Saunders needs to secure a contest with one of these names. He maintains, “I think DAZN’s got to make these big fights with Eddie’s stable of fighters and Golden Boy’s stable of fighters. I think DAZN have really got to look at it and think let the best fight the best.”