There's much talk of a potential super fight involving Saul Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders. Frankie Monkhouse takes an excited look at the early betting...
"You can back Saunders to send shockwaves throughout world boxing by scoring an upset at 4/1"
We may still be in the opening rounds of the year, but the early signs suggest 2020 will be a massive season for boxing fans. The sport got off to the best possible start by delivering the Deontay Wilder - Tyson Fury rematch followers had been crying out for and recent rumours suggest the finishing touches are being added to another from the wish list.
Gossip columns tell us Billy Joe Saunders v Saul Alvarez is very close to completion and that has caused a flurry of activity on social media. It's a bout supporters of the noble art feared would end up tangled in red tape and swamped by boxing politics, so it's a delight to report things are finally moving in the right direction.
Alvarez to return for Cinco de Mayo
Alvarez's management team had set aside a date for his next fight, picking May 2 in Las Vegas for the calendar. That was no mistake, of course, being the Mexican national holiday weekend of Cinco de Mayo. Canelo (53-1-2) has fought Amir Khan, Julio Cesar Chavez and Daniel Jacobs on that weekend in recent years, cheered on by a passionate Mexican support.
It now looks like Saunders could be the man to fill the void this year. Such a contest would rate as one of the biggest challenges in Saul's career since famously taking on Floyd Mayweather in 2013 in Sin City at super welterweight. It's a clash the multi-weight world champion is said to be very keen on, however, and understands the desire of fans to see it happen.
BJS happy away from home
A meeting with Alvarez, one of the biggest names in modern boxing, has always intrigued Englishman Saunders and he has made no secret of his desire to make it happen. An unbeaten fighter with an impressive 29-0-0 record and near 50% knockout average, BJS would prove no mere opponent. He brings a tricky southpaw style, fast hands, tight defence and is a two-weight world champion himself.
Critics of Alvarez have proven to be thin on the ground in recent years, but it is said the Mexican great struggles against southpaws who can box and move around the ring. Billy Joe's style would mean that theory is tested to breaking point. The Hatfield fighter made light work of Canadian David Lemieux in Laval just over two years ago, proving he has no trouble performing away from home.
His last outing was also in America, winning many new fans when stopping Argentina's Marcelo Esteban Coceres in 11 rounds late last year.
Traders have Canelo as hot favourite
Alvarez v Saunders may have boxing fans excited but traders working on the Betfair Sportsbook believe it would be close to a mismatch, a question of how Canelo wins, rather than if. That's a bold call, considering the respect Billy Joe has in the game.
Those in agreement, expecting Saul to claim win number 54 of his career would have to make do with the 1/7 offered. If you'd prefer to take more of a risk for a higher reward you can back Saunders to send shockwaves throughout world boxing by scoring an upset at 4/1. That looks to be on the generous side and is sure to be popular, especially with UK fans.