After a surreal Tuesday where this weekend’s super-middleweight unification fight between WBO king Billy Joe Saunders and WBC and WBA Super champion Canelo Alvarez was reportedly in jeopardy over a disagreement over the ring size, Saunders has unsurprisingly confirmed the bout will go ahead.
Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) and father Tommy had threatened to fly back to England, having insisted the ring size was too small and not contractually agreed. Islington contender John Ryder and IBO champion Carlos Gongora were even touted as replacement opponents, in the unlikely event that Saunders withdrew from a career-high payday.
The WBO champion, no stranger to mind games or a wind-up gone too far, stayed in his hotel room and ducked out of a planned media engagement to protest his position on Tuesday, but later posted a video on Instagram stating the disagreement was now resolved.
“I just want to say, I’m pleased the issue is sorted,” said Saunders. “Obviously, as you can see, I tagged Canelo and [promoter] Eddie Hearn in my last video. The ring is not a problem. Thumbs are up.”
Members of Team Saunders had earlier attempted to stir up Mexican Canelo and his camp over the ring size, on their return from the media engagement to the fight hotel.
Saunders had hoped for a British judge in Saturday’s unification showdown at the AT&T Stadium in Texas, but there will be three American officials in place, according to BoxingScene.
Nevada’s Tim Cheatham, Connecticut’s Glenn Feldman and California’s Max De Luca will be the men in the spotlight should the fight be close and head to the scorecards.
Main image: Matchroom Boxing.