Billy Joe Saunders might’ve been trying to get in the head of Canelo Alvarez when he threatened to pull out of their fight Saturday because of the size of the ring.
Perhaps he had the same motivation when he told Boxing Junkie something that seems unfathomable: Saunders, a southpaw his entire career, plans to fight Alvarez from an orthodox stance.
“I’m going to box him orthodox, not southpaw” Saunders said in a matter-of-face manner.
Why would he do that?
“He’s been training his whole training camp to face a southpaw. It’s going to be a completely different fight from what he thinks,” Saunders said.
Is he serious? Doubtful.
Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) is a natural left-hander and has never fought from a right-handed stance, meaning the left hand is forward. The notion he would unveil a new stance in the biggest fight of his life is hard to swallow but it’s an interesting concept.
“It’ll be the first time I do it,” Saunders said. “I’ve been doing it in camp.”
Saunders, a 5½-1 underdog, believes that Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KOs) can be pushed to his limits regardless of his opponent’s stance. Floyd Mayweather (orthodox) and Erislandy Lara (southpaw) are evidence of that.
Mayweather handed Alvarez his only defeat, a wide decision in 2013. And many believe Lara deserved the nod when he lost a split decision in 2014. Also, most observers thought Gennadiy Golovkin (orthodox) deserved the decision in their first fight.
No one, Saunders said, is unbeatable.
“We’ve seen boxers have success against him, we’ve seen fighters have success,” Saunders said. “He definitely lost to Floyd Mayweather and the first Golovkin fight. An argument can made for Lara. And Austin Trout gave him a good fight.
“Everyone has weaknesses. You just have to find them.”
Of course, a victory for Saunders would be one of the biggest upsets in recent years. Indeed, the boxing world would be turned upside down if the British fighter has his hand raised at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
That certainly isn’t difficult for him to fathom. He clearly believes in himself.
“That’s the beauty of the sport,” he said, referring to the impact of an upset. “Things like that can happen. I would just be nice to have a fair result. And may the best man win.”
This article was originally published on boxingjunkie.usatoday.com