Billy Joe Saunders has a plan for his return to the ring, and it includes fighting some of the very best in the world.
The 34-year-old two-weight world champion has been away from the sport since May of 2021 – a punishing loss to Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez ending with a fractured eye socket being the catalyst for his break away.
Now back in training and preparing for a comeback this year, the 30-1 southpaw reeled off some big names to Boxing Social.
“To be honest with you, I fancy the Charlos, Benavidez, Caleb Plant. You know you’ve got all them names. Andrade. You’ve got some big names there that you can’t look at and say ‘I’m not getting up for for them’, because you can.”
David Benavidez, or ‘The Mexican Monster’, is an undefeated two-time champion and now mandatory challenger to face Saunders’ last opponent, Canelo. Before that, it looks like he’ll face Demetrius Andrade this year.
Whilst neither of the Charlo twins currently fight at 168lbs, Jermell has just come off a loss to Canelo at the weight, and Jermall is one division down with an eye on moving up.
He may just do that against former world champ Caleb Plant, another Canelo loss victim, as the pair have had beef outside the ring.
Saunders is open about playing it smart for his comeback plan. He will return at the light-heavyweight limit of 175 in December against a lesser opponent.
“My first fight back, obviously it’s not gonna be against a superstar. But it’s about getting back, blow the cobwebs off, get the ball rolling again and look at these names.”
From then, he’s expected to move back towards super-middleweight in 2024 to pick up where he left off.