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Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez vs Billy Joe Saunders: Fight predictions from boxing’s big names

Canelo and Saunders go to war in Texas on Friday night (Picture: Getty)

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders meet this Saturday to crown the best super-middleweight on the planet.

Four-weight world champion Canelo is widely regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, losing just once in his 58-fight career to Floyd Mayweather Jr back in 2013.

Undefeated in 30, Saunders possesses the style that has many tipping him to cause a major upset in Texas this weekend.

While Canelo enters as the firm favourite with the bookmakers, the fight has divided the boxing world with opinion split over who is going to walk away with the WBO, WBA, WBC and Ring Magazine titles.

Some of the biggest names in the sport along with former opponents and sparring partners give their predictions ahead of fight night.

Amir Khan

‘Being quick myself, I found it fairly easy to catch him with some good shots,’ Khan told the Daily Mail.

Khan fought Canelo in 2016 (Picture: Getty)

‘But he is very good at closing down the ring and has a good chin. He is happy to take punches so that he can land really telling shots.

‘By the time he fought me his punching was becoming really powerful. He’s gone on to prove it by winning world titles up to light heavyweight and now back down a notch at super middleweight.

‘Billy Joe has the style that can give Canelo a few problems for a few rounds. But, sorry to say, he gets knocked out in the sixth.’

Winner: Canelo

Mike Tyson

Tyson said on his Hotboxin’ podcast: ‘He’s [Saunders] knocked out right now, he’s knocked out already, I swear, he’s knocked out.’

Winner: Canelo

Tyson Fury

Fury told Behind The Gloves: ‘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.

Fury backing his friend Saunders (Picture: Getty)

‘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.’

Winner: Saunders

Roy Jones Jr

‘I give Billy Joe a really good chance,’ Jones told iFL TV.

‘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.’

Winner: Saunders

Lerone Richards

‘I’m a realist, if you’re going off form you are going to say Canelo Alvarez,’ Richards told Metro.co.uk.

‘He’s been very consistent throughout the years, he’s put out good performances most recently against Yildirim and Callum Smith.

Richards sparred with Saunders ahead of his world title win over Andy Lee (Picture: Getty)

‘Billy Joe Saunders hasn’t boxed to his full potential in his last few fights – which I’m sure Billy would admit.

‘If you go off skillset, you would say Billy Joe Saunders. And I’m not saying Canelo hasn’t got the skillset because his is very high.

‘But in ability and talent, you would say Saunders and in terms of consistency, you would say Canelo. I would say it is a 60-40 fight in Canelo’s favour.

Winner: Canelo

Chris Eubank Jr

‘I don’t really feel like Saunders has improved since he last fought me,’ Eubank Jr told talkSPORT.

‘I think he is the same guy. I am levels and levels above what I was when I first got into the ring with Saunders.

‘I feel like he is the same guy; that guy can’t beat someone like Canelo.

Eubank lost out to Saunders in 2014 (Picture: Getty)

‘Somebody who is going to be successful against Canelo, you have to have a very different mind-set, a very different approach to the average boxer.

‘I don’t think Saunders has what it takes. I have what it takes; I know the way to beat Canelo.

‘I’m sure I will get my shot within the next couple of years. But it is a very bad fight for Saunders and, if it happens, he is going to get knocked out.’

Winner: Canelo

Claressa Shields

‘It’s hard to go against Canelo for anyone.

‘I believe Billy Joe will present some problems with his movement & grit early on, but I think Canelo with his smarts and power will figure Billy Joe out and use his great defense and offense to drop Saunders once or twice to win a unanimous or majority decision.

‘I see the fight going all 12 because I just don’t see any quit in Billy Joe.’

Winner: Canelo

David Haye

‘Canelo is number one in my eyes. When Saunders is up for it he’s a problem for anyone.

‘If anyone has a style to cause this near-perfect boxer problems it’s someone like Billy Joe. I can’t bet against Canelo, he’s as good as it gets.’

Winner: Canelo


MORE : ‘It’s a 60-40 fight’ – Lerrone Richards breaks down where Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez vs Billy Joe Saunders will be won and lost


MORE : Billy Joe Saunders taunts Canelo Alvarez over failed drugs test at heated face-off

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