Canelo Alvarez is “fed up” of Billy Joe Saunders’ antics ahead of their super-middleweight world title bout, according to Chris Algieri.
Saunders threatened to pull out of Saturday night’s fight with Alvarez over the size of the ring the two would come face to face in, as the Englishman claimed that the bout taking place in an 18ft ring was “unacceptable”.
That dispute is now resolved as Alvarez agreed to fight in a larger ring, but former junior welterweight world champion Algieri told FightHype that he believes Saunders has irritated the Mexican ahead of their bout.
“Maybe, but I also think that’s just the way Saunders is, and I mean in terms of his personality, not so much his fighting style,” Algieri said when asked if Saunders was attempting to get under Alvarez’s skin.
“Maybe that is why he does that, but I just think that’s the way he is. He’s a ball buster, and it’s hilarious. But Canelo is not looking too enthused. I think this is the most focused I’ve seen him in a fight week in a long time.
“[Saunders] could [get it to work for him], but Canelo at this point is such a seasoned veteran; it’s going to be really tough to get him off his game, to get him off his focus to the point where it’ll affect him negatively.”
‘Don’t poke the bear.’
While Saunders appears to have been somewhat successful in getting under Alvarez’s skin, Algieri believes that the four weight world champion may now be more determined than ever to batter the Englishman.
Alvarez refused to shake hands with Saunders during the week, a sure sign that he hasn’t been enjoying the Englishman’s attempts to put him off his game.
“Don’t poke the bear. It seems like it. It was funny that exchange with the handshake and the fist,” Algieri said.
Almost. ? pic.twitter.com/LTWIDWwTme
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“I thought that was really indicative because it seemed like Billy Joe was going to fake it, and Canelo beat him to it. He’s like, ‘Uh ah.’ I thought that was an interesting exchange between the two. It seems like Canelo is fed up.”
Alvarez is the strong favourite to win the world title bout, which is expected to be attended by over 60,000 people at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.