Billy Joe Saunders is talking a brash game ahead of his bout with Canelo Alvarez on May 8 at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas.
Although Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) is the WBO super middleweight champion, he is still approaching the fight with an upset-minded attitude against boxing’s biggest star.
“I don’t give a sh!t about Canelo Alvarez. Not two sh!ts,” Saunders said on DAZN's program “Off the Cuff.” “For me, in my own brain, I look and I think. I’ve planned this out in my head and I’ve been dreaming about this since I was a little boy fighting in my front room. I look at myself and I’ve visualised this day coming. I’ve had dreams of this day happening since I was about five or six years old… I’ve got all the way here.
“This will be the biggest upset in boxing history, I believe. In certainly the last 20 years. For a Brit to go and do this. He’s dethroned and defeated six. Unlucky number seven for him and lucky number seven for me. I believe what’s meant to be will never pass you in life. And I believe this is meant to be.”
Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KOs), the WBC, WBA and Ring Magazine champion at 168, will serve as Saunders’ toughest test of his career to date.
Beating Alvarez will certainly be a huge upset, but boxing pundits would be hard-pressed to bill it as the biggest one in boxing history. The bout is not the level of mismatch, at least on paper, than Buster Douglas was when he overcame 42-to-1 odds and beat Mike Tyson in 1990.
Alvarez is listed as a -715 favorite while Saunders is an underdog at +425, per DraftKings.
The southpaw technician will look to use his slick skills and three-inch height advantage to frustrate Alvarez and land the career-defining win.
“People can say I ain’t lived the life. I ain’t don’t it right, but I’m here,” said Saunders. “Two weight world champion, two time world champion. Thirty fights, thirty wins. Won every single fight on the way, beat everybody’s prospects coming through. I don’t want to go ‘right’ if I’ve done it wrong. I do not want to go right I will carry on doing it like this. I want to carry on going the wrong way.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com