‘I feel like I’m in my prime’: Billy Joe Saunders reiterates desire to fight Canelo Alvarez next after initial plans were scuppered due to coronavirus crisis… as controversial boxer retains his WBO super-middleweight title on his return after 13-month absence
- Billy Joe Saunders defeated Martin Murray on Friday night via unanimous points
- It was Saunders’ first fight after a suspension due to a social media controversy
- The 38-year-old now wants to take on Mexican boxer Canelo Alvarez
- Eddie Hearn claimed an a Canelo-Saunders fight was close earlier this year
Billy Joe Saunders claims he is in his prime after beating Martin Murray via a unanimous decision to keep his WBO super-middleweight title on Friday.
The 31-year-old put in a dominant display in London to extend his unbeaten career run to 30-0. The judges’s cards stated that the English boxer beat Murray 120-109, 120-109, 118-110.
He could have taken the win earlier when fellow Briton Murray was floored in the fourth round but the referee claimed the 38-year-old slipped and ruled no lockdown.
Billy Joe Saunders (left) revealed he is in his prime after beating Martin Murray (left) on Friday
The 38-year-old (right) extended his career record to 30-0 with a unanimous points win
Saunders claimed that the victory was nothing to shout about and that he is already thinking about his next challenge, which he hopes will be Canelo Alvarez.
In his post-match interview, Saunders said: ‘I tried to set a rhythm but he’s a cunning old fox. It’s not a performance I’m gonna be shouting people’s names about.
‘The main thing is I’m 30-0, let’s see if I can make a big fight, get up for it and put a shift in.
‘It (the fourth round incident) was a clear knockdown, if that was called a knockdown I would’ve adjusted a bit differently and maybe got the finish.
It was Saunders’ (left) first win back since being suspended due to a social media controversy
‘It’s very important now for me to stay in the gym. I just turned 31, I feel like I’m in my prime.’
Saunders sealed victory in the first fight since his boxing suspension was lifted due to sharing a video promoting domestic violence during the coronavirus pandemic in March. His last fight came in November of last year – an eleventh round win over Marcelo Esteban Coceres.
Now the 38-year-old is chasing a fight with Mexican boxer Canelo, who he was scheduled to fight before the global pandemic affected live sport. The pair also failed to find an agreement as Saunders was unwilling to fight without more notice out of lockdown.
A fight with Canelo , who takes on Callum Smith later this month, in the new year would be the ideal fight for Saunders, while he also named Demetrius Andrade as a potential opponent.
Saunders revealed he wants to take on Mexican boxer Canelo Alvarez (above) in the new year
Saunders added: ‘Let’s get the big names out there, obviously Canelo and Smith’s out there, Andrade’s out there.
‘Everyone wants Canelo, I hope Smith beats him. If not, that’s the fight in the new year I want.’
Promoter Eddie Hearn revealed how close a fight between Canelo and Saunders was to being arranged earlier this year.
Eddie Hearn (right) claimed a fight between Saunders and Alvarez was close earlier this year
Hearn said: ‘We were one day away from the press conference for Canelo against Billy Joe Saunders. The pandemic hit and the fight got cancelled.
‘Now it’s important the momentum continues. He (Saunders) has got to be a pro now, he’s got to be ready. We can’t waste the opportunity to see how good he is.
‘Canelo, Golovkin, Andrade, Smith – it’s got to be one of them next. He will fight anyone.’