Billy Joe Saunders (24-0, 12 KO’s) will be taking on Willie Monroe Jr. (21-2, 6 KO’s) for his second title defense in London on the same day that Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin duke it out at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. And, the WBO middleweight world champion, who has defended his belt just once since late 2015, is picking the Kazakh to upset the Mexican, albeit he has switched his pick on numerous occasions.
“Golovkin looks like he’s well-rested, he’s had a good rest period. Canelo, on the other hand, he looks a little bit fatigued to me,” Sanders candidly said to Box Nation. “He looks a little bit sluggish.”
Sanders, 28, who last beat Artur Akavov in December, cites Canelo’s most recent a fight, a lopsided unanimous decision victory over a dormant Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Although Alvarez was never troubled, Sanders says the bout took a lot out of him mentally.
“He [Canelo] got straight back into camp after another big mental fight. This man took his belt off without even fighting,” he added. “I think he’s just overcooking it a little bit. “Once you go over the top, it’s hard to come back. And at this caliber of a fight and the opponent he’s fighting, I favor Golovkin that little bit.”
After knocking out Amir Khan with a sensational overhand right to retain the WBC middleweight world title in May 2016, Canelo opted to vacate the belt after he was mandated to fight Golovkin.
One year has passed, and now we have less than a week until the most anticipated fight in more than a decade is among us.
If Canelo is over-trained, it could spell danger for the former two-division world champion, who is already known for slowing down around the eighth round. Golovkin appears well-rested and ready to go 12 rounds. The second half of the bout is ultimately going to determine who wins the fight.