Despite the Cinco de Mayo fight date being pushed back, Billy Joe Saunders (29-0, 14KO) still possess the golden ticket and is scheduled to face pound-for-pound superstar Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez (53-1-2, 36KOs) later in the summer, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.
The 29-year-old Mexican, considered as the pound-for-pound no.1 in the world right now, hasn't lost since his humbling to Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2013 when he was just 23-years-old. His list of scalps since then has been nothing short of world class and has beaten some of the best fighters in the world across four different weight classes during his last dozen fights.
BBN asked their panel of experts if Billy Joe Saunders has got what it takes to bring down boxing's reigning P4P ruler right now:
Co-Founder of buymyfight.com
"I think Billy Joe has a very valid argument. I cannot see Canelo getting any better but you could also argue, he doesn’t really need to.
This is for me, a case of whether Billy Joe can step up to Canelo’s level or not. Can he? I think so, yes. I think Billy Joe has the tendency to box in accordance with the challenge in front of him. ‘That fight’ against David Lemieux was a master class, whereas the other fight against ‘woss his name’… I rest my case.
If Billy Joe gets his head focused for the job at hand, and boxes as well as he is capable of, then yes I do think he can take the fight to Canelo. I’d say it’s more a 50/50 if he steps up, and I wouldn’t be shocked at any outcome. I really hope he does it."
Welsh Area super-lightweight champion
"I definitely think Billy has the ability, I think he’s got the attitude too, on his day, the only sticking point for me is I can’t see Canelo being stopped, and I can’t see him losing on points in the US.
For me you can expect a very good boxing exhibition from Billy only to lose a tight decision."
Southern Area super-lightweight champion
"For me, Canelo is a superstar and elite level fighter, why the hell am I hearing that Billy Joe will school him?! Are they serious?!
I don’t think even Billy Joe would have the audacity to say something so stupid."
"Can Billy Joe do it? Yes, I believe he can.
Of all the potential contenders out there, Saunders has the best chance of winning, in my opinion.
If he can stay disciplined for the entire 12 rounds, keep Canelo at the end of his reach and avoid too much punishment, then he can skip, slip and stick his way to points win.
Canelo is a formidable puncher, but BJS has shown his resilience in the past. From England amateur stories I've heard, he used to love a war and, back then, they used to go at it with no handwraps, headguards or supervision, so I got told.
I think he can take Canelo's best shots and carry on, but I could never see a Saunders knockout victory in this fight; it's always possible in any fight, but I would completely dismiss this idea in this one. Just cannot see it happening. So, Saunders on points would be the most likely way to win, but would Saunders get a points decision against him in the States - 'GGG' can aswer that one!"
Dee 'The Hat' Taggart
Professional boxing trainer
"I think Billy Joe is an incredible fighter and now he has the chance to prove it. But no, I can’t see him beating Canelo, I hope I’m wrong though."
English light-heavyweight champion
"If anyone out there beats Canelo, it's Billy Joe."
"Canelo beats Billy Joe Saunders by UD.
Billy Joe says we have seen the best of Canelo, but Canelo is a year younger than Saunders and not a great deal of amateur experience going pro as a teenager. So I believe the best is yet to come and Saunders doesnt have the tools to over come the Canelo attack and, let's be honest, he ain't stopping Canelo and no north American judge will go against the House or they will be evicted.
Canelo has constantly been fighting the best available and I believe when the fight happens we will see another Canelo decision victory."
Unbeaten professional boxer
"I think Billy Joe would have to knock him out to get a draw, that’s the reality of it.
In my opinion, I can’t see passed a unanimous decision victory for Canelo Alvarez."
"Billy Joe Saunders is capable of beating Canelo. However, Billy Joe's full offensive capabilities are an unknown quantity. With that said, Billy Joe has shown enough good pointing ability and power while moving and on the back foot. Enough to out work and outpoint Canelo and make Canelo miss. However, with the reality the match may be in the US and is a Golden Boy event, if that happens, it goes the way Canelo v Lara. We all know who won the match, but the decision will go to Canelo. KO and come forward like his cousin Tyson; or stay home for the Traveler."