WBO super-middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders feels his boxing smarts can lead him to victory against WBC and WBA Super title holder Canelo Alvarez in their unification clash at the AT&T Stadium in Texas on Saturday.
Saunders’ natural boxing skillset certainly has the potential to pose Canelo problems and the Hatfield southpaw believes glory is within his grasp if he executes trainer Mark Tibbs’ tactical blueprint in the defining fight of his career.
“This fight is all about the brain,” said Saunders(30-0, 18 KOs). “Not about power, muscle or skill, it’s the brain and the game plan, and being able to execute that game plan.
“I brush opinions off because I know what goes through my head and my mind, and what I have done in my career is through the will and want to win and, the day I lose that, I won’t put a pair of gloves on again.
“I can only control what I am in control of and that myself, not what is outside the ring. It’s going to be a great fight it’s one I’ve wanted for years and it’s finally landed. There’s a lot at stake for both of us. Would I like my fans there? Yes. Would I like UK media there? Yes. If the fight was moved to the Mexican border I wouldn’t care.
“I have my own way of approaching the fight and Canelo will have, too, he’s done this nearly 60 times. I’ll get in there as the best that I can be and that’s all I can control. I’ve been the underdog before, I’ve been the away fighter before, it’s not a new position, but I’m just in with a better opponent this time.
“If I go in there and I win, I’m not going to run and say never again, I’ll fight him again, I’ll fight anyone, anywhere, it doesn’t bother me. It’s good for boxing sometimes when the underdogs come through, and I don’t just mean me here, because it puts the sport on a higher platform to be watched.
“I’m at the top of the tree where I’ve done it all as an amateur, I’ve had 30 fights, I’m unbeaten, won every title coming through, two-weight world champion – I can sit back at night and say I’m top of the pile fighting the pound-for-pound king.”
Main image: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA.