A day filled with pre-fight drama centering around ring size is over. Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders fight on May 8.
A day filled with ridiculous drama over the size of the boxing ring for the May 8 bout between Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders is over. The fight is on, and the absurd posturing is over for the moment.
The start of the fight week buildup was delayed when Saunders’ team abruptly declared on Tuesday, May 4, that the fight was off if their ring size demands weren’t met. Saunders’ father, Tom Saunders, gave an interview to iFL TV YouTube channel stating that the fight with Alvarez was off unless they received a 22-foot ring or larger.
“I can’t let my son box in a 20-foot ring against Alvarez Canelo on Cinco de Mayo weekend,” said Saunders father to iFL TV. “We’ve given in to a lot of stuff here, but this we just can’t give in to.”
To show that they were serious, Saunders skipped a scheduled faceoff event with Alvarez later in the day. Alvarez posed for the press alone.
Alvarez later told the media (h/t Fight Hub TV) that he viewed Saunders’ behavior as an excuse. He didn’t seem to care much about the size of the ring.
The beef over the size of the ring is over, and Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders will have their super middleweight unification bout on May 8
Alvarez and his team got into a brief verbal spat with Saunders’ team members in the hotel lobby. The two sides yelled a bit and traded insults, but nothing major occurred.
A tweet from the DAZN Boxing Twitter account showed a video message from Saunders saying that all issues with the ring were settled and that the fight with Alvarez is on.
A 20-foot ring is pretty normal. Saunders’ father claimed that they were being pushed to use an 18-foot ring and demanded at least a 22-foot ring. News hasn’t been officially released on how big the ring will be. Team Saunders would be thrilled with a 24-foot ring as it would give Saunders the most room to counter box.
Alvarez vs. Saunders has huge implications for the super middleweight division. Alvarez is at the top of most pound-for-pound rankings and is the WBC and WBA super middleweight champion. Saunders is the WBO champ, and the winner will have three of the four division titles. Caleb Plant owns the IBF belt.
Alvarez is the betting favorite. He won his last bout against Avni Yildirim by round 3 TKO and only has one loss on his record. Saunders is undefeated but has a lot less professional experience than Alvarez.