Saunders has confirmed the ring size issue has been sorted
Billy Joe Saunders has revealed the dispute over the size of the ring for his unification bout with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez this weekend has now been resolved.
Saunders’ team had threatened to back out of the fight after being informed that it would take place in an 18ft ring, claiming it would create an unfair playing field and limit the Briton’s ability to rely on his stick-and-move style.
Canelo’s team reportedly then offered to use a 20ft ring, however, Saunders’ camp continued to insist that they would not fight in a ring smaller than 22ft.
After Saunders refused to attend Tuesday’s media presentations, Canelo was asked about the issue and claimed he did not care about the size of the ring and was intent on punishing Saunders for making excuses.
In response, speaking on social media, Saunders said: “I just want to say, I’m pleased the issue is sorted. Obviously, as you can see, I tagged Canelo and [promoter] Eddie Hearn in my last video. The ring is not a problem. Thumbs are up.”
Saunders’ dad had said the team were planning to fly home if the problem was not resolved.
He told iFL TV: “I can’t see them coming face to face because the issue with the ring has still not been sorted.
“There is nothing in the contract about the ring size, it’s all about negotiations and negotiations have broken down big time.
“Canelo has put an 18-foot ring, which I think is an amateur ring, as the fight ring. His plan was to put an 18-foot ring there, knowing we were going to start [complaining] and he said right, 20-foot ring, that was his game plan.
“We wanted a 24-foot ring but we’ve come down to a 22-foot inside ring. Basically they are trying to take BJ’s legs away. We’re up against everything here and at the end of the day I’m not going to let my son box in a 20-foot ring against the supposed pound-for-pound king of boxing.
“We’re up against everything here and we’ve spoken to them this morning. They’ve said it’s either a 20-foot ring or book your flights home.
“Unfortunately people, we apologise to all the fans, I can’t let my son box in a 20-foot ring against Canelo on Cinco de Mayo weekend.
“We’ve given into a lot of stuff but this we can’t given in to. The fight will not be fair… the fight’s off.”
WBO super-middleweight champion Saunders is bidding to become the first boxer since Floyd Mayweather in 2013 to beat pound-for-pound star Canelo.
The Mexican is a four-weight world champion and looking to pick up his third belt in the 168-pound division on Saturday night.
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