Billy Joe Saunders threatens to pull out of Canelo Alvarez fight over ring size
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Billy Joe Saunders is locked in a battle over the ring size for his clash with Canelo Alvarez.
The British super-middleweight is demanding a bigger squared circle after hearing the Mexican wanted an 18ft ring and has said he will travel home if he doesn't get his way.
It is understood Alvarez's team have now offered to go as big as 20ft but Saunders is still fuming ahead of the WBC, WBA and WBO clash.
Saunders wants more room to move as he plans to box on the back foot against the pound-for-pound star at the AT&T Stadium in Texas.
The venue is also home to the Dallas Cowboys and there are plans to have 70,000 fans in attendance this weekend.
But Saunders is threatening to pull out if he doesn't get his way on the ring.
It is understood Britain's John Ryder is due to be in Dallas this week for media duties but would be willing to step in, while Ecuadorian Carlos Gongora is another option if the unlikely happens and Saunders withdraws.
“There’s a little bit of a hiccup today that everyone’s trying to resolve,” Saunders told Talksport.
“The problem is I’ve come over here and they’re trying to chuck me in a phone box of a boxing ring.
“It [the stadium] is hundreds and hundreds of feet long and they wanna stick an 16/18ft ring in the middle of it.
“For me, that’s just unacceptable. I want a 24ft ring and they’re saying it’s not gonna happen.
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“I’ve left it to my team and I’m sure they’ll resolve it, otherwise there won’t be any fight.
“You can’t just fly me in here, show me the ring that we’re using. I’ve been training all of my camp in a 24ft ring, it’s a unification fight, not a British title.
“It’s like someone training on a 200m running track and someone training on a 400m running track, there’s a big difference.
“We all know his style of fighting, anybody who knows boxing knows how this fight – how I’ve got in my head of it playing out.
“And he’s got his own style of fighting and his game plan, and I know his game plan.
“His game plan’s not waiting around, his game plan is coming to me and I want somewhere where I can move and get my boxing off.”
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Saunders may be stuck though as there is no ring size agreement in the contract for the bout.
Texas commission rules allow for rings to be any size from 16ft to 24ft and they will be keen to please the Mexican.
Promoter Eddie Hearn arrived in Dallas last night [TUESDAY] and will bid to solve the issue.
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There has also been a dispute over the judges in recent weeks with WBO champion Saunders angry there won't be a British official ringside.
Hearn has assured Saunders that what was agreed for the fight were neutral judges which means there won't be any British or Mexican officials involved.
Canelo dismissed the concerns, adding: “We are in the USA.
“I’m not from here. I’m from Mexico, he’s from England. There’s no Mexican judges. It’s just excuses. At the end of the day, I hope I don’t need judges.”
- Eddie Hearn
- Canelo Alvarez
- Billy Joe Saunders
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