Two-weight world champ Billy Joe Saunders has laid out what he wants in 2021 – Demetrius Andrade in February, and Canelo Alvarez in May.
WBO super-middleweight champion Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) was last in action in December, where he retained his title with a unanimous decision victory over Martin Murray, who has since retired following five failed attempts at capturing a world title.
He is hoping to secure a showdown with pound-for-pound king Canelo in May, but there is also talk that the Mexican superstar could first return in February in order to take on mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim.
With that in mind, Saunders also wants a fight in February, and is calling on WBO middleweight champion Andrade to step up in weight and settle their differences once and for all.
Saunders told IFL TV: “I’m supremely confident of knocking Andrade out cold. I love boxing southpaws, I love fighting someone with his style.
“I’ve got a very good track record against southpaws. I would love to give him a hiding. Let’s get it on, and rock and roll. Vacate the WBO 160 title, move up and you’re the mandatory. I can make 160, but why would I want to go back down to 160 when all the big money fights are at 168, and all the big talents have come up to 168.
“Move up, come up to 168. I don’t want to be sitting around. Let Canelo do his thing. If he’s fighting in February, I would love to fight him in May, but if he thinks I’m going to be sitting around until May twiddling my thumbs, he’s got another thing coming.
“I’m not going to be doing that. I’m back in the gym, I’m in shape, let’s get it on. Let’s stop beating around the bush and waiting around.”
BJS was scheduled to face 'Boo Boo' Andrade on October 20 in Boston but was refused a boxing license by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission to defend his WBO middleweight title.
Saunders returned an adverse finding in a Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (Vada) test in August. His promoter, Frank Warren, said that the substance — the stimulant stimulant oxilofrine — was a “common decongestant nasal spray”. Under World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) and UK Anti-Doping (Ukad) rules, oxilofrine is only banned in competition, meaning a fighter is only in breach of rules if the substance is detected in his system on the day of the contest, however it is prohibited at all times by Vada, resulting in the Massachusetts Commission therefore denying him a licence to fight.
The Briton was also all set to put his WBO world super-middleweight title on the line against the Mexican superstar on the Cinco de Mayo weekend last year, but the global pandemic thwarted that chance. He then turned down a reduced fee and preparation time to face Canelo in September citing that he wasn't ready to fight and refused to be treated as a stepping stone.