Former two division world champion Paulie Malignaggi is heavily backing Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez to beat Billy Joe Saunders if the contest heads to the scorecards. 

Canelo has been the winner in several close decisions, against Erislandy Lara and Gennady Golovkin.

He will collide with Saunders for the WBC, WBO, WBA super middleweight titles at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

“I don’t think Canelo can lose a points decision anywhere in the world! The money is followed,” Malignaggi explained to Talk Sport. “This is one of the issues with boxing – it is a business before it is a sport. In boxing, it is a business to the point where it doesn’t matter if you win anymore; if the business guy has to get the decision, then he will get the decision. That’s the unfortunate thing because Canelo is world class, he is top-level, world class fighter.

“So just to beat him is a feat in itself, but then to also have to get a decision, you have two big hurdles in front of you. You have to beat this guy – who is excellent – you also have to hope to get a decision as well.”

Malignaggi has a lot of respect for the boxing abilities of Saunders.

He does expect the unbeaten Brit to create some problems for the Mexican superstar.

While he predict Saunders will stick to his game plan of boxing, he doesn’t expect him to stay on the move as much as Lara did.

“He’s a little bit of a mix,” Malignaggi said. “He’s got that crafty southpaw stance but, at the same time, he is also a guy who can give you different angles.

“He is a guy who can sit there and tough it out with you as well; he has that ingrained in him, that machismo as well. I don’t know if that will work out to his particular advantage if he tries to be too macho, but at the same time, he’s not just going to be looking to touch and go like Lara was.

“Personally, I think Lara could have gotten the decision against Canelo, but it was not a fan friendly style where you want to see that guy win the fight. Saunders makes it a bit more fun; he’s not just a touch-and-go guy, he wants to have the machismo approach to really out-slick you and also show that he is more man than you.”