Are you prepared for the excuses, the shock and the backpedaling? When Billy Joe Saunders beats GGG and Canelo, in two competitive but convincing victories? I see it happening, I believe he’s the middleweight to do it, I’m just readying non believers before the event; lessen the shock a little.
What would seem akin to boxing blasphemy before your eyes as you read these words, will almost feel like a natural and correct conclusion. Think of it as merely a predetermined unchangeable set of events running their course when these victories take place.
Trust in ya big mate, I’ve got this, Saunders wins both fights.
When young Saunders was swiping those masterful Boxing brush strokes within the early blooming stages of his career, I knew then for my mythical promotional company “Kebab promotions”, he would be the first talent signed. Kebab Promotions never happened, the rise of Billy Joe Saunders though, has.
There isn’t a fighter I have followed from the start for so long, who has eventually justified my belief and faith in his talents, more than Billy Joe. My early youtube videos backing Saunders are still out there in the ether.
The journey has been offset with a couple of uneven surfaces along the road, some lengthy periods of inactivity. One example is a fight both myself, and Billy Joe consider lucky he was awarded, Russia’s Artur Akavov. A fighter that should have honestly been a snack for him, was served with an unhealthy side of nonchalance. Which eventually unfurled into a beautiful mess. Saunders got caught several times, looked uninspired and quite honestly, by his standards shabby.
I stuck by him, predicted he would do a number on both Monroe Jr and Lemieux with videos uploaded before both events as proof. (I may have picked Eubank Jr over him but we all get caught up in the hype, i’m only human after all)
I’ve let the excited tingle of the weekends fight soothe, and even now, days afterwards, I’m sticking by Billy Joe for those two big fights, whenever the gods grant them.
I could entertain an argument for Chris Eubank Jr possibly wrestling the scorecards from him in the meeting of the fresh faced up and comers. Also in the chronicles of Saunders, the what seems like hundreds of interviews, you wouldn’t necessarily be amiss questioning Billy Joe’s dedication to the sport, something he himself has confessed at times, has been in question.
The Andy Lee fight was a patient masterful dissection. Lee a monster puncher, the road to stripping his belt navigated with intelligence by Saunders. Even dropping Lee twice in the 3rd round, timing and precision the instruments that orchestrated those knock downs, not brute force, and all the more graceful for it.
The ups and downs; the experience gained. Knowing inside himself that he never wants to exhibit the type of performance we saw in the Akavov fight, even arguably the Ryder and Nick Blackwell performances too. All these elements simmered in the same pot over time, to concoct the performance we saw at the weekend.
It was the potential realised on Saturday 16th December 2017 when a previously feared opponent was completely schooled; Lemieux.
An opponent who many boxing pundits, particularly those overseas were picking to tear the title from Saunders with a chilling KO. Now naturally those very same confident bleats have been tamed to quivering whimpers. Almost apologetic with their previous misplaced apathy.
No one is mistaking the aggressive but often crude nature of Lemieux’s attacks for the crispy slicing combinations of Canelo. Lemieux doesn’t possess the precision of footwork we witness from GGG when he hones in on his prey, shrinking the ring like a magician, felling all the hapless foes before him.
Lemieux doesn’t have these additional tools to support his punch power, but he is a world level fighter, one many picked to finish Saunders quite confidently.
I agree with those who say the judges got it wrong in the GGG vs Canelo fight, correct, Canelo should have got the victory.
Golovkin has already in my opinion been beaten by two opponents, Billy Joe can be the third. Danny Jacobs just edged GGG in what was an extremely close battle you could call for either combatant.
The other incident for me involving GGG, quite controversially, but more definitive than the Jacobs fight was of course Canelo. Saul taking the fight by a good few rounds for this author. All personal opinion of course, the only result that matters is that of the judges as we are all aware. Still though…
Canelo, the Mexican superstar is a little more of a trickier nettle to untangle for the Gypsy prince. Canelo himself can move, has a natural fluidity in particular aligned to his defence. He wouldn’t be as doggedly persistent as Golovkin with that hunger for the stoppage but if he could work the midsection of Saunders, slow the legs down; crank up a consistent pressure his flashier looking selections could edge the judges to side with his argument in the ring.
But I still suspect Saunders will be too quick for him…that jab snapping, biting as Saul chases clouds of hopes and dreams, finding neither within them.
We have seen what a fully focused, fighting fit Saunders can move like. He can box so very graceful, a delicious face busting jab; an ease of footwork that at times borders on, not only “shades of ali” but movement akin to the flourishes of ice skating.
Maybe I should chill, but one could envisage both those feared middleweights swiping at shadows for most of the night, albeit walking away with slightly more snug scorecards, losing one’s of course, but a little tighter than the Lemieux mark ups.
Billy Joe Saunders beats Canelo and GGG when both those inevitable fights happen, I am convinced he is agile enough to stay loose, tattoo with enough definitive leads; dazzle with truly underrated footwork and come through both of those fights with something like an 8-4 winning scorecard.
What the judges in those fights will actually see, however, I can’t predict. I am confident enough to say though, if he is prepared, inspired and happy in that ring, Saunders joins the elevated ranks of those champions who retire with that 0 still sturdy; challenged but intact. He doesn’t want to be in this game forever.
That Ali shuffle in the last round of the Golovkin fight before Saunders goes on to get his hands raised will make your jaw drop. 2018.
© Wingy Boxing 2017