With his suspension for inappropriate jokes about domestic violence lifted, WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders has made it clear who he wants to face later this year – after calling for a showdown with either WBA super middleweight champion Callum Smith or WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade. [After removing himself from consideration] for a bout against world middleweight champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) has shifted his sights to the two men named above.
Saunders, who made a successful first defence of his crown against Marcelo Esteban Coceres in November, has spent time in Fuerteventura with trainer Ben Davison, Josh Taylor and Shabaz Masoud, and has made his intentions very clear for the future. Saunders told IFL TV: “I just think that the only fight that should happen this year is either against Callum Smith or (Demetrius) Andrade. With Andrade, we all know we’ve got a history in the past [Saunders' PED issues ruled him out of a prior fight vs. Andrade]. With Callum, obviously it’s a unification fight. I think those two fights make real sense. I can see one of them definitely happening. Maybe at the end of October or November, or even December. I’m looking for the big fights against the world’s elite fighters, on a fair and even playing field. I’ve contacted MTK a couple of days ago. They’re working on something now and even touched base with Eddie. I think it’ll be finalised in the coming weeks. All I’ve got to do is put my trust in them, make a big fight and see where we go. I’m already a two-time world champion. The only thing I care about is winning, so I have to keep on winning and winning. If the public demands for it (fight against Canelo), maybe it will happen, maybe it won’t. Everything happens for a reason.”
Saunders was found guilty of misconduct by the British Board of Boxing Control as a result of his social media post that jokingly encouraged domestic violence. Saunders was fined about $19,000 (£15,000.00 to be exact), a sum that will be donated to charities. The temporary suspension of Saunders' British boxing license was terminated.