Can Billy Joe Saunders pull off the biggest upset of 2021?
Despite being undefeated, Saunders is widely regarded as the underdog heading into tonight’s superfight with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Widely regarded as the best in the world, Canelo is expected to walk away with the win by most bookies, pundits, fans and fighters alike.
But is everyone selling Manchester’s finest southpaw a bit short?
Boxing Legends’ Predictions
Current heavyweight champ, and close friend of Saunders Tyson Fury believes so.
In a recent interview with Behind the Gloves, Fury said: “I think Billy Joe gives him a boxing lesson.
“That’s what I’m here to see and that’s what I think will happen.
“I think everyone raves on about Canelo and how good he is and how he’s such a great guy but I just think every time Billy Joe steps into the pressure cooker he delivers, much like myself.”
Fury continued: “Canelo’s tasted defeat and we know he can be outboxed because we’ve seen it. [Floyd] Mayweather outboxed him convincingly.
“He’s had a couple of sticky fights, struggled in a couple of southpaw fights. He struggled with [Erislandy] Lara.
“If Lara was a bit more of a name, a bit more of a draw, he probably would’ve got the decision.
“Billy Joe is a very good boxer, a very slick southpaw, and I know he’ll fancy this one.
“What’s on the line here is him [Saunders] being a world champion twice or going down as a great in the sport.
“This is what’s on the line here. He’s going to shock a lot of people and it’s going to be an easier fight then people think it is.”
Fury’s namesake Mike Tyson, however, could not disagree more.
In an interview with ES News, Tyson predicted: “Two rounds. He (Billy Joe Saunders) might run though. I think he’s gonna run a little.
“He has good moves, but Canelo might wear him down.”
Just two rounds, ouch…
WBO middleweight champ Demetrius Andrade agreed with ‘Iron’ Mike’s assessment during an interview with Boxing Scene, stating: “May the best man win.
“Canelo showed that he was maybe able to carry a little power [up to the 168-pound division].
“He’s trying to be a little more agile and mobile, or whatever.
“Just going off the last fight, Saunders looked like s**t when he fought Martin Murray. He couldn’t do anything.
“He really didn’t dominate him in the way that he should’ve, the way somebody supposedly that good, that talented, should’ve done against Martin Murray, who’s been out the ring for however many years.
“If he brings that same type of fight to Canelo, I think Canelo’s gonna beat him.”
Roy Jones Jr
Roy Jones Jr sees an upset on the horizon.
In an interview for iFL TV, Jones predicted a Saunders victory: “I give Billy Joe a really good chance.
“The reason being if you think about Canelo Alvarez, the toughest two fights he’s had in his career, to me, where Floyd Mayweather Jr, who is a pure boxer and a southpaw by the name Erislandy Lara, who is a boxer.
“So if you think about those two guys, whose Billy Joe closest related to in the boxing ring? Those two guys.
“He’s a boxer, he’s southpaw and he can box, but he thinks of boxing first, much like Tyson Fury.”
Chris Eubank Jr
Rather unsurprisingly, Saunders’ nemesis Chris Eubank Jr sees a Canelo victory coming up.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Eubank said: “Saunders is going to get hurt. I’m going to be putting a £10,000 bet on Canelo to knock Saunders out.
“That’s what I think is going to happen; I think Saunders is going to get knocked out.”
Sugarhill Steward, who is Tyson Fury’s coach, not only wants a Saunders victory, but wants him to attain it by KO.
Speaking on MyBettingSites.co.uk, Steward said: “Why not go for the knockout against Canelo?
“The best way to know that you won that fight for sure is to get the knockout – in fact, that is the only way. There is nothing else to do.
“He can outbox someone for ten or 12 rounds and the decision goes the other way still because it’s somebody else’s opinion and decision.
“So why can’t Billy be the deciding factor?”
So, who will be proven right and who will be left with egg on their face?
Derek Chisora will be praying for a Saunders win given the £8,500 he’s put on him. Only time will tell, however, as these two gladiators gear up for tonight’s clash.