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Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez v Billy Joe Saunders: Briton vows to do things his way


Saunders (left) is undefeated in 30 fights while Alvarez has one loss in 58 outings
Date: 8 May (9 May UK) Venue: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Belts: WBC & WBA world super-middleweight titles (Alvarez), WBO belt (Saunders)
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live and live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Billy Joe Saunders has told those who criticise him that he will “carry on going the wrong way”.

The Briton faces Mexico’s Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez – widely regarded as the world’s current number one pound-for-pound fighter – in Texas on Saturday.

Saunders has been condemned in the past for behaviour outside the ring – while inside it, his fight displays have drawn mixed reviews.

“People can say I ain’t lived the life,” Saunders, 31, told DAZN.

Saunders, who has won all 30 of his professional fights, became a two-weight world champion in 2019.

He now puts his WBO super-middleweight title on the line against Alvarez, who holds two of the other three belts in the division – the WBC and WBA titles.

Saunders has, however, attracted significant negative publicity during his career.

“I ain’t done it right, but I’m here,” he said. “Two-weight world champion, two-time world champion. Thirty fights, thirty wins. Won every single fight on the way, beat everybody’s prospects coming through.

“I don’t want to go ‘right’ if I’ve done it wrong. I do not want to go right. I will carry on doing it like this. I want to carry on going the wrong way.”

Saunders was fined £100,000 by the British Boxing Board of Control for a social media video that police described as “sickening” in 2018.

He returned an adverse Voluntary Anti-Doping Association test in the same year and gave up his WBO world middleweight title outside of the ring.

A further fine of £15,000 followed in 2020 after he posted a social media video about how men could hit their female partners.

Saunders apologised at the time, saying he would “never condone domestic violence”.

On Saturday, he faces a contest against Alvarez, who has lost just once – to Floyd Mayweather – in 58 fights, and who has held world titles in four weight divisions.

The 30-year-old’s status as the sport’s best-paid star has made him a target for fighters such as Saunders for several years.

“I’ve planned this out in my head and I’ve been dreaming about this since I was a little boy fighting in my front room,” said Saunders.

“I’ve had dreams of this day happening since I was about five or six years old… I’ve got all the way here.

This will be the biggest upset in boxing history, I believe. Certainly in the last 20 years. I believe this is meant to be.

“To win this means absolutely everything to me. More than money, more than fame, more than everything. I want to win this so badly it’s a joke.”

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