Ben Davison can only hope and wait to find out if Billy Joe Saunders actually gets his opportunity to upset Canelo Alvarez.
Alvarez and Saunders have agreed to fight, but Alvarez also has the option to move straight to a third fight versus rival Gennadiy Golovkin if the coronavirus pandemic delays fights from being scheduled for too long. If Saunders does defend his WBO super middleweight title against Alvarez, Davison envisions a highly competitive clash that ultimately will be determined by ring IQ.
“I just think that it boils down to who’s the smarter fighter,” Davison, Saunders’ trainer, told IFL TV. “It’s well known, Canelo’s strength and power, and his speed, hand speed. You know, he’s well known for that. And Billy Joe’s known for his slickness and his speed and his footwork and his ability and his ring craft. You know, both of them are such good fighters I just believe that it’ll boil down to who’s a step ahead upstairs, in their IQ. And the man who’s a step ahead of the other man in their IQ will win that fight, I believe.”
Mexico’s Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) and England’s Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) were headed toward a May 2 fight DAZN would’ve streamed from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Their 12-round, 168-pound championship match has been postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 outbreak throughout the world.
Saunders returned home earlier this week from Las Vegas, where he had been training with Davison for roughly two months.
“We had been working since the second week in January, flat out, so obviously we were tapering weeks there so that we weren’t over-training,” Davison said. “But in terms of where he was at, I was very, very happy with where he was at. I’ve got a hundred-percent belief in Billy Joe being victorious in that fight. And I’m absolutely gutted, you know? I’ve gotta say full credit to Canelo for taking that fight in the first place.
“I just hope that he goes through with it, and doesn’t decide to change his mind on that situation. I don’t know the legalities and all the rest of it, of contracts. [Promoter] Eddie [Hearn] and MTK [Global] will know more about that than I would. But, you know, I just know that Billy Joe has waited five years for that opportunity, and I just hope that he does get it eventually.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.