Tyson Fury Fury sends warning to Billy Joe Saunders ahead of Canelo showdown

Tyson Fury has suggested Billy Joe Saunders may need to take a warm-up fight before stepping into the ring to challenge Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.

WBO super middleweight champion Saunders has agreed a deal to fight pound-for-pound king Canelo in a unification fight in May, where the latter’s WBC and WBA titles will also be on the line.

Canelo comfortably outpointed the previously undefeated Callum Smith to take those belts in December but Saunders is confident he can become only the second man after Floyd Mayweather Jr to defeat the Mexican.

Saunders has fought just twice since winning his second world title in May, stopping Argentina’s Marcelo Esteban Corceres in November 2019 before sealing a comfortable decision win over Martin Murray last December.

And while his long-time friend Fury believes Saunders is the true No.1 fighter at both 160 and 168lbs, he suggests he may need to be more active to pull off the biggest victory of his career.

‘The one thing I say, he needs to be active. And the one thing he has not been, is active,’ Fury told Gareth Davies. ‘Just like me. When I’m active and I’m injury free, no one’s got a chance against me. Just like Billy Joe. No middle or super middle in the world has got a chance when he’s active.  

‘But the good old cliché with me and Billy Joe Saunders is we are never active. We have had more inactivity in our careers then we’ve had activity.’

He continued: ‘Billy Joe has had the one fight with Martin Murray which went on I don’t know how long. For me to say what Billy Joe needs is Billy Joe needs another fight. And maybe another one after that.’

Canelo is set to fight before that proposed date in May with a clash with Avni Yildirim booked in for February 27 in Miami.

Fury hopes to see Saunders do likewise – and with the benefit of an active schedule, he is confident there is only one winner when his friend and Canelo collide.

He added: ‘Me and Billy Joe Saunders, we are not journeymen. We are not in boxing for a payday. We’re not in boxing to make some numbers up and get a few extra million quid in our bank. Not interested. We would rather have zero money and win than take fights we’re not ready for.

‘He needs to be active and he will punch Canelo Alvarez all around the ring. Canelo Alvarez’s kryptonite is someone who boxes and moves — southpaw, slick, good feet, good hand speed, good power. Billy Joe Saunders does all of that but he needs to be active.’

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