Roy Jones Jr says that Billy Joe Saunders is an “excellent boxer” and can hold his own against Canelo Alvarez providing he is not hindered by ring rust.
Four-weight world champion and current unified WBA and WBC Super Middleweight world champion, Canelo faces WBO champion, Saunders at the AT & T Stadium in Texas on Saturday, live on DAZN.
Jones Jr, a former four-weight world champion and Super Middleweight ruler during his prime believes Saunders has the boxing style that has caused the Mexican problems in the past particularly in his contentious split decision win over Erislandy Lara in 2014 and in his sole defeat to Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2013.
“A lot of people don’t give Billy Joe a big chance,” Jones Jr told Matchroom Boxing.
“But what you have to remember is, the two people that caused Canelo the most problems in his career in my opinion were Erislandy Lara and Floyd Mayweather.
“What we’re both of those guys? Excellent boxers. What is Billy Joe Saunders? An excellent boxer who also has pretty good power.”
Alvarez, 30, is 14 fights unbeaten since, beating the likes of Gennady Golovkin and Sergey Kovalev and has beaten six Brits in his career, most recently Callum Smith who he dominated in December.
Two-weight world champion, Saunders, who has received the backing of WBC Heavyweight world champion, Tyson Fury, has fought three times in two years, defending his title with a unanimous decision victory over Martin Murray in December.
Although, Jones Jr, who returned to the ring himself for an exhibition against Mike Tyson last November admits Saunders’ inactivity could prove crucial, the former pound-for-pound star insists the 31-year-old can put in a serious challenge if he is able to overcome potential ring rust.
“So, the only bad thing for Billy Joe is that he’s been out of the ring, so that time out of the ring may hurt him,” Jones Jr added.
“But, if he can get into the fight and get over the ring rust, it’s going to be a really good fight, because this is the classic fight you want to see.
“The classic counter puncher boxer vs the classic boxer. So Canelo’s known as someone who can punch, but he’s really more of a counter puncher, but so is Billy Joe and as a matter of fact Billy Joe may fight more of a counter punching style even then Canelo.
“So that’s going to make it a really good, interesting fight, if Billy Joe can get in the fight.”