Billy Joe Saunders

Billy Joe Saunders Set for US Invasion

Billy Joe Saunders
Vincent Ethier/EOTTM

Billy Joe Saunders showcased fluid footwork and explosive combinations during a recent media workout at an elite gym in West London.

His white gloves encased what might be some of the fastest hands in the 168-pound division.

Saunders, who is the WBO Super Middleweight champion, is set to make a defense of his title on November 9 at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

The first member of the Irish travelling community to win a world title admits to liking American sports (such as MMA) and believes this fight is a stepping stone to other fights in America.

Though who he will fight in this one is still not clear as promoter Eddie Hearn is still looking for an opponent that the WBO will accept.

“It’s just not the same boxing in LA against a German,” Eddie Hearn told reporters at the workout. “Ideally we would like to fight an American.”

The top WBO rankings are thin with Americans and Hearn seems keen to fight a more marquee opponent if the WBO obliges Saunders.

Saunders’ title defense will be the highlight of the November 9 card, which will also feature a rematch of YouTube stars KSI and Logan Paul. Saunders made clear he is focused on stealing the show.

After working Saunders on the pads, trainer Dominic Ingle hopped on a fitness bike at the elite the gym and cycled for a few minutes singing the, “Hey-y’all, Hey-y’all,” bridge to the hip-hop classic “No Diggity.”

No Diggity? Or, seriously? Those might as well have been Ingle’s response to being on the KSI-Paul card. Media reports say that Ingle laughed out loud when he heard about the event Saunders would be appearing.

Saunders said if he can convert just five or 10 percent of the fans who tune in for the YouTuber clash to his fans–he can laugh all the way to the bank despite the circus of the YouTube fight atmosphere.

A YouTube broadcast of the press-conference apparently attracted 700,000 viewers–according to Matchroom Boxing.

For most North American fight fans, Saunders made a name for himself with his dominant win over David Lemieux of Canada in December 2017. That fight attracted over 700,000 viewers on HBO.

Since then, Saunders has moved from Middlewieght to Super Middleweight and is looking for more battles with the sports biggest stars.

He looked sharp at this week’s media workout and called out some of boxing’s biggest stars such as Gennadiy Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez.

Golovkin is currently fighting at Middleweight and Canelo is planning to make his Light Heavyweight debut this year.

If Saunders can tempt them to challenge for his WBO title he is willing to make those fights in the United States.

“That’s the only place they can happen and I think they will happen,” said Saunders. “Canelo and GGG, those are the fights I want.”

Saunders has previously called for a historic fight with British rival Callum Smith at Anfield–the home of English football powerhouse, Liverpool FC.

The historic venue, which first opened in 1884, hasn’t seen a world title boxing match since before World War II.

However, at this week’s workout he seemed focus on Canelo Alvarez–should the Mexican fighter defeat Sergey Kovalev in their looming clash. Promote Eddie Hearn said that in the ideal scenario, a Saunders-Canelo fight could take place as early as Cinco De Mayo weekend 2020.

“Best case scenario is Canelo,” said Hearn with a smile. “And then we get to find out really how good he is.”

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