Saul Canelo Alvarez is every bit as good if not better than the great Mexican warrior Julio Cesar Chavez.
So you would be right in thinking Billy Joe Saunders is in deep in Arlington, Texas.
The squabble about the size of the ring was always irrelevant. They could be fighting on a football pitch for all the difference it would make.
Saunders doesn’t run. He hits and moves. But at some point Canelo will catch up with him.
That is the moment of truth Saunders faces, the same one that left Amir Khan poleaxed after dominating the early rounds.
Saunders is a bigger specimen than Khan with a far better chin. He might survive but I don’t see how he can prosper.
Canelo does everything so well and rarely gets caught with the same ploy twice.
He closes down remorselessly. He has an amazing ability to track opponents.
When you let go with him, he blocks and fires back or just throws with you, a brilliant counter puncher firing off combinations at the same time. That’s very unusual.
On the inside he is one of best I have seen in a generation. Top drawer.
Chavez was pitiless but he fought the same way every time. Canelo is more versatile, dangerous on the outside as well as up close.
In Saunders’ favour, the opponents that have caused him trouble are the ones who move their feet.
Austin Trout, a southpaw like Saunders, gave him problems. Floyd Mayweather inflicted his only defeat, and Canelo needed a split decision to get past Erislandy Lara, another lefty.
Saunders looks big for the weight, tanned and fresh. But I cannot see a way for him to win.
Gennady Golovkin, one of the greatest punchers of all time in the middleweight division, hit him flush on the chin. It had no effect.
Saunders movement will trouble him early, but once Canelo closes off the exit routes, which he is brilliant at, he will find him with the right hand that finished Khan or a left hook.
He is an example to all young kids in how to box. Everything is simple. The objective is to hurt you and knock you out. That’s why he is box office.
Don’t be surprised to see Saunders emulate Khan and get ahead early using his movement and fast hands.
But that counts for little over 12 rounds. Canelo has improved immeasurably since his struggles with Mayweather and Lara.
He was a pup then. Seven years on he is No.1 in the world. The best for which Saunders can hope is to hear the final bell.
Follow Barry on Twitter at @ClonesCyclone, @McGuigans_Gym and @CyclonePromo
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