Does Billy Joe Saunders really have a chance against GGG?
BY HECTOR FRANCO
The rumor mill is at a buzz on the last day of the year in 2015. In what once was thought as a fight that would likely not take place, there have been rumors of a Billy Joe Saunders-Gennady Golovkin middleweight unification bout. Saunders on the 19th of December won the WBO version of the middleweight crown by defeating Andy Lee in a somewhat pedestrian affair. Saunders is undefeated at 23-0 with 12 knockouts, but how would he fair against Gennady Golovkin?
If the bout does get made Golovkin will be a heavy favorite and most fans will expect Saunders to get the same treatment that Daniel Geale and Marco Antonio Rubio got, a quick knockout in the first three rounds. Saunders who is just 26 years of age in the past has stated that he may not be ready for a bout with Golovkin and if most fans have viewed his last three bouts, we would have to agree with Saunders. Saunders doesn’t offer anything different from past Golovkin opponents except that he holds a portion of the middleweight crown.
In today’s world of boxing, it is said that the belts don’t matter as much as they used to, and that may be true for fighters like Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez who can afford move forward without belts and it not have any effect on their paycheck size. For the rest of the sport the belts still do matter and in the case of Billy Joe Saunders, it’s his ticket to the highest payday of his career. For Saunders, this may be a win-win situation for him. It will be an opportunity to face the consensus rated best middleweight in the world in Golovkin and should he lose the bout it will not deter his career, as he will be able to move on to other matchups such as rematches with Chris Eubank Jr. or Andy Lee. A win over Golovkin will however, be one of the biggest upsets the sport has seen in decades and will put Saunders in a position for even bigger matchups with the likes of Canelo Alvarez. To put bluntly, Saunders will have nothing to lose and be paid handsomely for it.
For Golovkin, Saunders is a chance to pick up another belt while he waits for Canelo Alvarez to sign off on a fight between the two. Golovkin in facing Saunders will likely face the same criticism he has faced in the past of facing subpar competition, but to put in perspective according to reports on the negotiations, Golovkin is offering to pay Saunders six million to face him. Golovkin already has enough trouble getting opponents in the ring not withstanding the political divide in the sport, but having to overpay a fellow champion in the same division to step in the ring with you shows that the era that we currently in is one about the bottom line on the paycheck and not competition. Regardless of pricing to make the bout hopefully, a matchup between the two takes place to make the potential Alvarez-Golovkin bout that much bigger. As far as what kind of a chance does Billy Joe Saunders have against Gennady Golovkin, he has as much of a chance as he and his team believes he does. If Saunders himself doesn’t believe he can beat Golovkin, then the answer is zero.