Eddie Hearn: 'Maverick' Billy Joe Saunders can beat Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez

The Matchroom chief has offered support to Billy Joe ahead of the biggest fight of his career this weekend against Canelo Alvarez…

Eddie Hearn has suggested that beating Canelo Alvarez is a 'tall order' but Billy Joe Saunders is more than capable of defeating him.

The long-awaited fight between Alvarez and Saunders takes place this Saturday in front of 70,000 fans in Texas. The winner will become the new unified super middleweight champion.

The bout was set to take place last year, but the Covid-19 outbreak forced it to be put on the backburner until now.

Saunders has been chasing a fight of this magnitude for years and he has the chance to topple a true modern-day great in Canelo.

Hearn has been criticised by Saunders' team and his close friend Tyson Fury in the build-up to this fight. They claim that the promoter is favouring Canelo over the Brit as he continues to work closely with the four-weight world champion.

Despite this, as cited by The Sportsman, Hearn told Dom McGuinness and Anthony Crolla that Saunders is in fact capable of toppling Canelo.

"Billy Joe's been looking for this opportunity for a long time. I think it's a real live fight, I think it's the toughest fight out there for Canelo Alvarez.

"Billy Joe is going to look razor-sharp, he's in tremendous shape, he's got the bit between his teeth and it's going to be a thrilling fight.

"70,000 people out there, the atmosphere's going to be absolutely wild, and it's over to him - it's a tall order because Canelo is fantastic, he's brilliant, but so is Billy Joe.

"He's undefeated, he's a two-weight world champion, but we're going to find out now, he's wanted this for a long, long time and if he is what he says he is, he's going to be very, very dangerous in that fight and he can win that fight.

"You've got Canelo Alvarez in one corner, 70,000 Mexicans in the arena - it ain't going to be easy but Billy's a bit of a maverick. When he needs to turn it on, he can turn it on and when he doesn't need to turn it on, he just don't.

"Billy's got that style, a bit like Demetrius Andrade, you just don't want to go near him.

"That's why both guys need the props because Canelo's going 'Oh, he's a champion, I need to win the belt' and Billy's fighting the pound-for-pound number one, so it's going to be a brilliant fight."

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Meanwhile, speaking on his Hotboxin' podcast, Mike Tyson gave Saunders little chance of beating Canelo:

"[Saunders] is knocked out right now, he's knocked out already, I swear, he's knocked out."

Can Billy Joe beat Canelo?

As Hearn says, Saunders looks in great shape for this one. There's no doubting his ability, but when the Brit has not applied himself properly, it leads to some less than convincing showings.

So, it is reassuring that he has kept himself to himself during this camp and he looks focused on the task at hand.

It goes without saying that if Saunders is going to win, he will have to put everything together to produce a performance that betters anything we have seen before.

Even then, it may not be enough. 58 fights into his pro career and now aged 30, Canelo looks to be in his prime as he continues to get past one top-class opponent after another.

No boxer is unbeatable, but this version of Canelo is arguably one current fighter who comes close to being unstoppable. Saunders certainly has the tools to trouble the unified champ, though.

If Saunders can do it, it will likely go down as the biggest win for a British fighter on foreign soil in the history of the sport.

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