“That’s just unacceptable.”
Billy Joe Saunders has threatened to pull out of this weekend’s super-middleweight title fight against Canelo Alvarez due to a dispute over the size of the ring.
Saunders has arrived in Texas ahead of the biggest fight of his career but he was furious to discover that the bout would be taking place in a smaller ring than the Brit anticipated.
Saunders is demanding that the fight takes place in a 24ft ring but Alvarez’s team is insisting on a considerably smaller ring for Saturday night.
“There’s a little bit of a hiccup today that everyone’s trying to resolve,” Saunders told talkSPORT. “I’ve left that to my management team MTK who’s over here sorting it, it’s quite a big hiccup to be honest.
“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 want to 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. 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.
Alvarez ring size
“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.”
Heavyweight champion and close friend of Saunders, Tyson Fury, has pledged his support to his fellow Brit in the dispute and has called on the Alvarez camp to agree to a larger ring.
“You know I just got off the phone with Billy Joe,” Fury said.
— TYSON FURY (@Tyson_Fury) April 27, 2021
“It seems like they’re trying a lot of tricks in Texas with him.
“I just wanna say you can try all the tricks in the motherf***ing world, you ain’t gonna beat Billy Joe.
“Play fair guys, play f***ing fair now.”