02 July 2020

Billy Joe Saunders out of Canelo fight in September due to ‘not being ready'

WBO super-middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders has ruled himself out of a fight with pound-for-pound star Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in September.

The 30 year-old Brit had originally reached an agreement to face the Mexican on May 5, but the bout was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Canelo became a four-weight world champion by defeating Sergey Kovalev back in November (Tass/PA Images)

Canelo’s next fight is now expected to be on Mexican independence weekend in September, a date Saunders admits he will not be ready for.

Speaking to The Athletic, he said: "I’m not ready (in) September.

"You can say to me, ‘Billy Joe, a billion pounds, but you’re not ready and you’re going to get beat.’ I would say keep it.

"Let me get ready, let me win and I will fight for free.

"I’m nobody’s stepping stone. I’m not another belt for Canelo. They want to try mind games; that don’t work with me, I play the biggest mind games in British boxing."

Fellow British world champion Callum Smith has also been touted as a potential opponent for Canelo, who has not lost since being beaten by Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2013.

However, Smith’s promoter Eddie Hearn does not believe it is likely he will get the call for the fight as he believes the Mexican’s team will look for a cheaper opponent.

Previously, Hearn has said: "They could try and find a cheaper opponent, but is that an opponent that will be approved by DAZN?

"A cheaper opponent generally means a fight that fans aren’t interested in. So we’ve got to get the balance right.

"People have all got to understand that we’ve got to dig in right now and do our bit. 

"It doesn’t mean that you should fight for money that you don’t feel presents your value, but you have to understand that in this moment in time, things have changed and we all need to get back on our feet and move forward collectively as a team."

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