Canelo v Billy Joe Saunders: BJS' team threaten to 'fly home' over ring controversy

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The highly anticipated bout between Saúl 'Canelo' Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders is in danger of being called off.

The pair are due to come to blows this weekend in Texas but a disagreement over the size of the ring is threatening to derail the fight.

The controversy reared its head on Tuesday morning with BJS' team suggesting they would 'fly home' if the bout is approved to go ahead in the proposed smaller ring.

Speaking to Behind the Gloves, Saunders made his feelings clear:

“There’s one or two small things now, one of them small things is the ring.

“I’ve just left it to my team, I’ve left it to MTK and my team, I’ve left them to sort all that rubbish.

“It’s one of them, you don’t go in a 70,000 seater [stadium] that’s hundreds and hundreds of feet long and dance in a 16ft ring or 18ft ring or even a 20ft ring.

“We’re all here to win for our families, we’re all here to put our lives on the line, I just want a fair shake of the dice.”

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Saunders father, Tom, added more detail to iFL TV: “Matchroom want us to box in an 18ft inner ring, then they’ve come back with a 20ft ring.

“It was supposed to be a 24ft ring. We’ve compromised and said no smaller than a 22ft inner ring.

“For Matchroom to want Billy Joe to box in an 18ft inner ring, it’s an amateur ring.

“It seems like to me, 18ft/20ft ring, they’re trying to take Billy Joe’s advantage away from him. And we haven’t got many advantages here, we’re up against everything.

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Tom then went on to criticise promoter Eddie Hearn, who, at times, has looked more interested in Canelo than his own fighter in the build up.

“Eddie Hearn – I don’t like to keep running the man down, he is Billy Joe’s promoter and he has delivered this fight, but at what cost?

“He’s not working with us, he’s working against us in every opportunity.

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“To face Canelo in an 18/20ft ring? That’s ridiculous. We’ve left it at 22ft, no lower. Inner ring has got to be 22ft otherwise we’re flying home.”

One can only hope that a compromise can be agreed upon so that the fight can go ahead.

It would be a crying shame for a bout dripping with this much potential to fall apart at the final hurdle over something as menial as the size of the ring.

Sort it out, lads.

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