WBO World Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders has laid out his cards.
Saunders returns to the ring after injury to fight Artur Akavov on our Cardiff show, Saturday 22nd October for his maiden World Title defence.
With the prospect of huge fights on the horizon, Saunders has played down speculation he could be looking past the 16-1 Russian.
“I’m not overlooking him, he went to the World Championships with Russia so he has some pedigree, and I’ve been out of the ring nearly 10 months. I know I’ve got to look good doing it and then we’ll look at a big fight in the New Year,” explained the Hatfield ace at a press conference on Monday afternoon.
Should his first defence go to plan, Billy Joe is open to getting back out up again in December but would rather jump in with the feared Kazakh KO King sooner rather than later.
“Am I good enough for Golovkin? There’s only one way to find out. I’m 27 now, in my prime. If I can’t beat Golovkin now I’ll never beat him. If I don’t rise to the occasion I’ll get sharply found out. I believe I can beat him.”
Saunders continued: “He’s not invincible. If he wants to fight in December I’m ready. A unification overrules a mandatory so he can do it if he wants to. I’ll go to America and fight him. Canelo? I’ll beat him seven days a week and twice on a Sunday!”
Promoter Frank Warren added: “They’ve got it in their head they will fight in September next year but Bill has the missing piece of the jigsaw for all four belts on the line. One of them needs to fight Bill.”
When quizzed what is the preference, GGG or Canelo, Warren responded: “Either of them fights, whatever the best deal is on the table for Bill is the direction we are going.”
After injuring his hand against Liam Smith, question marks remain over Canelo’s fitness.
“Canelo is injured so he won’t be probably fighting until April or May next year. Bill’s got to stay focused and stay match fit. He can’t afford to bloat up and put the weight on, he’s got to think and be like Golovkin out of the ring. Let’s keep him busy and make the fights happen.”
Watch the full press conference here: