PA Sport

Monroe Jnr questions Saunders' status ahead of title fight

Monroe Jnr questions Saunders' status ahead of title fight
By PA Sport

11/09/2017 at 23:49Updated 11/09/2017 at 23:52

Willie Monroe Jnr has told Billy Joe Saunders he is too little-known in America to be spoken of as an opponent for the winner of Saturday's super-fight between Gennady Golovkin and Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez.

Willie Monroe Jnr has told Billy Joe Saunders he is too little-known in America to be spoken of as an opponent for the winner of Saturday's super-fight between Gennady Golovkin and Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez.

WBO middleweight champion Saunders on Saturday at London's Copper Box Arena makes the second defence of his title against American Munroe, hours before their rivals meet at Las Vegas' T-Mobile Arena in what is expected to be the fight of the year.

The 28-year-old has made little secret of his desire to then face the winner of Golovkin-Alvarez in what would be a unification fight for all four of the division's world titles, and the match-up logic suggests that would naturally follow.

Unlike his compatriots Amir Khan and Kell Brook, however, who are known in the US for their respective fights with Alvarez and Golovkin and more, Monroe says Saunders' profile is minimal.

The division's two biggest names most frequently fight there so his reputation as an opponent is relevant, but Monroe - who lost to Kazakh Golovkin in six rounds in 2015 - said: "I really don't hear much about him in America.

"I know he showed up to a couple of their press conferences and Canelo and Golovkin pretty much said the same thing: he talks too much. But if that's how he gets by in boxing, by running his mouth, then God bless him, do what you do.

"The only people I've heard say anything is Golovkin and Canelo and that was when he showed up to the press conference, and they said he talks too much."

Referencing when Mexico's Alvarez said he did not recognise the then-overweight Saunders, the 30-year-old added: "Canelo said he didn't even know who he was."

Should he win in what could prove his most difficult fight, Saunders will regardless retain the only middleweight world title not presently held by Golovkin, and has again demanded the winner of the sport's most significant match-up since Floyd Mayweather defeated Manny Pacquiao in 2015.

He also fights for the first time under new trainer Dominic Ingle, having split with Jimmy Tibbs and struggled to overcome Artur Akavov before linking up with and splitting from Adam Booth, and he said: "We'll see the result on the 16th but Frank (Warren, my promoter) knows my thoughts.

"Frank knows who I want, I know who Frank's trying to get for me. Certainly the winner of Canelo and Golovkin I'm after. I want to be out again this year. Fate and God's work put me with the Ingles."

Warren also revealed that Golovkin-Saunders could even happen in the UK in December, explaining: "I don't think it'll be very difficult at all, because if he comes through this fight he's got a massive piece of the jigsaw.

"That's the only way the winner of the Golovkin-Canelo fight can unify the titles, and that's the logical fight. We will make it happen: absolutely confident, we will deliver it.

"If it's Canelo it'll be in the States, and if it's Golovkin we may have a chance (of staging that fight in the UK). If Golovkin wins, it looks like they'll want to fight some time in December."

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