By Chris McKenna, courtesy of The Daily Star
BILLY JOE SAUNDERS will hope Gennady Golovkin comes out on top against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in their eagerly anticipated middleweight match-up next weekend.
That is because a deal could be struck for him to face the Kazakh knockout star next year in a money-spinning fight.
British ace Saunders defends his WBO title against American Demetrius Andrade in Boston next month.
But he has been craving a clash with Golovkin, 36, for over a year to prove he is the real king of the middleweights.
Golovkin faces Alvarez in a rematch of last year’s controversial draw at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena in the early hours of next Sunday morning.
And Saunders’ promoter Frank Warren believes Golovkin winning is the better outcome for his man because he does not believe Alvarez will ever face the Hatfield southpaw.
Warren said: “We have signed to face Golovkin before and we were close to getting a deal done a second time around.
“I don’t think Canelo will ever fight Billy Joe Saunders, certainly not if he beats Golovkin. They don’t fancy that at all.
“I think Golovkin will do it. He has that warrior mentality, he will fight anybody.
“He has proven that by going on the road all the time. If Saunders goes out and beats Andrade, that will deliver him an even bigger fight against one of the best in the world.”
The build-up to the rerun of Golovkin against Alvarez has turned nasty after bitter disputes between the pair’s teams.
It all stems from Alvarez failing two drug tests in February when traces of prohibited substance clenbuterol, which aids fat burning and muscle growth, were found.
Alvarez. 28, claimed the substance was ingested through eating contaminated meat in his homeland of Mexico but he was still hit with a six-month ban which forced the pair’s rematch in May to be cancelled.
Following lengthy negotiations the two fighters’ teams finally settled to meet again next weekend with Golovkin’s WBA and WBC titles on the line.
Golovkin said: “What is respect? Let me ask you.
“When you deceive people, when you hurt business, when you don’t respect your TV network, when you don’t give a damn about your fans, is that what you call respect?
“The people who support him and stand by him are swindlers, just like him. How could one respect him? Of course there is no respect.
“I don’t really hate him. I wouldn’t say I hate him. It’s just that my opinion of him has changed completely.
“You know what you consume. You are responsible. Those who take illegal stuff get caught. In their case it didn’t go to plan and they were caught red handed.”
Alvarez has been angered by Golovkin’s refusal to accept his explanation for the failed test and has triggered a war of words. His latest barb is to question the Kazakh’s record.
The Mexican said: “I want to rip his head off. There is no doubt about that. Now if he thinks he respect the sport, how many champions has he fought? Very few.
“How many opponents has he had with a s***load of losses. He makes people think he is all about good fights when he is not.”