Hearn: If No Kovalev, Then Saunders is Good Option For Canelo

By Ron Lewis

Billy Joe Saunders would be a good option to face Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in November if the Mexican is still without an opponent for his planned fight later this year, according to Eddie Hearn.

Alvarez is keen to face Sergey Kovalev, the WBO light-heavyweight champion, in an attempt to become a four-weight world champion, but the California-based Russian must first get through a title defence against Anthony Yarde in Chelyabinsk, Russia, on August 24.

Hearn announced the signing of Saunders in London yesterday. The WBO super-middleweight champion said he signed with Hearn in order to improve his prospects of a big fight against the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Callum Smith, as well as Alvarez, who has signed a big-money mult-fight deal with DAZN, the US streaming service.

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Hearn said Saunders would be ready if the chance to face Alvarez came about.

“The one fight that Canelo wants right now more than anything is Kovalev and he’s prepared to wait until August 24 to see what happens then,” Hearn said.

“If Kovalev wins that fight, I’m 99 percent sure he will fight Canelo next.

“If Kovalev doesn’t win the fight or gets injured, Billy Joe Saunders is right up there as an option for Canelo.”

Having spent a decade with Hearn’s rival Frank Warren, Saunders’s first fight under the Matchroom banner will probably be a low-key defence of his belt in late October or early November with the aim of setting up a bigger fight in the Spring.

“It is important that he keeps active,” Hearn said. “He hasn’t been that for the last 18 months for one reason or another. He probably hasn’t got some of the fights he has wanted in the past because he is so good. But he has a much better chance of those fights happening now.”

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