Saunders praying Canelo wins to set up super-middleweight blockbuster

Billy Joe Saunders will be praying Canelo Alvarez beats Avni Yildirim to set up a super-middleweight unification fight (and huge payday) with the Mexican… but the unfancied Turk is confident he can cause a major upset in Miami

  • Canelo Alvarez is looking to defend his super-middleweight titles against Miami
  • The Mexican is likely to fight Billy Joe Saunders if he sees off Avni Yildirim
  • The Turk will hope his height and a change of trainer can help him cause an upset
  • Billy Joe Saunders would receive his biggest-ever payday if he faced Canelo

Billy Joe Saunders will be watching and praying tonight that Canelo Alvarez does not fall victim to the upset curse which has marked big-time boxing’s re-emergence from the coronavirus lockdown.

Assuming Canelo successfully defends his world super-middleweight titles in front of 15,000 fans at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on Saturday, Saunders will be set for a championship unification fight against the Mexican on what would be the biggest payday of the Brit’s career.

On paper, nothing should go wrong in Florida. Canelo’s Turkish opponent Avni Yildirim is a 20-1 shot, who has previously suffered a rapid knockout by Chris Eubank Jnr.

A Canelo Alvarez win on Saturday would clear the path for a bout with Billy Joe Saunders

But this mandatory challenger for the WBC belt stands a full head taller than Alvarez. So did Callum Smith, who Canelo felled in adding the WBA title to his current collection, but Yildirim vows to be far more aggressive and has a new KO-minded trainer, Joel Diaz, to back that strategy up. 

Though Saunders will be mindful that Josh Warrington and Josh Kelly, his two highly esteemed fellow Brits, have just been flattened by underdogs, Canelo is perhaps the only person outside Yildirim’s team not taking this fight lightly.

Alvarez says: ‘I always treat the next fight as seriously as the last. I am focused solely on Avni, not Saunders.’

Saunders would receive the biggest payday of his career if a fight against Canelo materialised

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