By Tim Royner: Billy Joe Saunders is on the verge of signing a multi-fight deal with Eddie Hearn and his Matchroom Sport promotions following Billy’s split with long time promoter Frank Warren. The deal between Saunders (28-0, 13 KOs) and Hearn could be announced this week
By signing with Hearn, Saunders, 29, would be fighting on DAZN, and that would make it easier for him to get fights against Callum Smith, Gennady Golovkin, and Saul Canelo Alvarez. Those are all guys that Saunders wants to face. Whether he can get any of those guys to agree to fight him is another thing.
Saunders’ spoiling style of fighting makes it unlikely he’ll get Canelo or Golovkin matches
Saunders isn’t well known in the U.S, and he has an ugly spoiling style of fighting. For Callum, Saunders would be a decent option, but not for Canelo and GGG. He’s not popular enough in the United States for those fighters to want to deal with the headaches of chasing him around the ring for 12 rounds. Saunders is the UK’s version of Demetrius Andrade. The best that Saunders can hope for in inking with Hearn is a fight against Callum Smith. That’s about it unless Saunders wants to move up to 175 to take on Matchroom fighters Joshua Buatsi and Callum Johnson. Those guys hit really hard, and it’s not realistic to assume that Saunders would want to fight either of them.
No word on what weight class Saunders will fight at
Saunders’ fans hope that he drops back down to middleweight, because that would open up the possibility for him to fight Canelo, GGG, Jermall Charlo and Demetrius Andrade. If Saunders stays at 168, he would need to fight guys like David Benavidez, Caleb Plant and Callum. Plant can do everything that Saunders can do, and he’s younger. Benavidez and and Callum have the size, power and youth advantage against Saunders. This wouldn’t be the mismatch that we saw between Saunders and David Lemieux. If Saunders faces Callum and Benavidez, he’ll find out how more talented those fighters are compared to Lemieux. Saunders’ claim to fame is his wins over Lemieux and Chris Eubank Jr. Aside those two wins, Saunders’ career has been a disappointment as a paper champion at 160 and now 168.
DAZN has these fighters:
- Saul Canelo Alvarez
- Gennady Golovkin
- Demetrius Andrade
- Jaime Munguia
- John Ryder
- Daniel Jacobs
Of those fighters, Saunders has a good chance of facing Andrade, Callum and Ryder.
Saunders making a late move in signing with Hearn
Some Boxing fans feel that Billy Joe should have made the move to ink with Hearn two or three years ago, because he would have gotten a shot at Callum Smith, Canelo and GGG by now. Saunders is still young at 29, but he has very little to show for the last 10 years of his career since turning pro in 2009. Although Saunders has won world titles at 160 and 168, he’s not been involved in any big fights. Saunders recently beat little known German fighter Shefat Isufi (27-4-2, 20 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision last May to win the vacant World Boxing Organization super middleweight title.