Sheffield boxing: Who next for Billy Joe Saunders after Alvarez-Golovkin draw?

Billy Joe Saunders (right) and his son shake hands with Willie Monroe Jnr after the WBO World Middleweight Championship bout
Billy Joe Saunders (right) and his son shake hands with Willie Monroe Jnr after the WBO World Middleweight Championship bout

Billy Joe Saunders has reiterated his desire to challenge the eventual winner of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez v Gennady Golovkin but insists he will fight again in December regardless.

Golovkin and Alvarez fought to a draw in Las Vegas hours after the Sheffeld-trained WBO middleweight champion made a successful second defence of his title against America’s Willie Monroe Jnr at the Copper Box Arena in London.

Saunders’ points-win retention of his title makes him the logical next opponent for Alvarez or Golovkin, who fought for the WBA, WBC and IBF titles. But a re-match between the Mexican and Kazakhstani will likely be in the mix first.

I’m not waiting around for anybody” said Saunders. “I want to be out of the game when I’m 31. “There’s no excuses now. Golovkin and Alvarez both told me to get in shape. I’m in shape now and whoever wants it next, I’m game.

“(My performance against Monroe Jnr) was a big improvement on my last fight. There was stuff I wanted to try but if someone is running around on the back foot, it’s hard. Every time I wanted to meet him in the middle he would run, but I got the win and that’s the main thing.”

Promoter Frank Warren said: “Bill needed to get 12 rounds to get the rust out of his system. He has had a very frustrating year. He fought someone who was awkward and on the back foot for ten rounds.”

Billy Joe Saunders celebrates beating Willie Monroe Jnr in the WBO World Middleweight Championship bout at the Copper Box Arena, London Pic: Scott Heavey/PA Wire

Billy Joe Saunders celebrates beating Willie Monroe Jnr in the WBO World Middleweight Championship bout at the Copper Box Arena, London Pic: Scott Heavey/PA Wire

Saunders, fighting for the first time under Wincobank trainer Dominic Ingle, was rewarded with scores of 117-111, 115-114, 117-112 via the three ringside judges.

n Sheffeld heavyweight David Howe executed an efficient points win over Jay McFarlane in Glasgow on Friday. It was the second time he’d beaten him this year.

The win moved 37-year-old Howe to W14 L6.

*Promoter Dennis Hobson has secured TV coverage for his show at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge on October 13, which is topped by the derby fight between Commonwealth middleweight champion Sam Sheedy, and challenger Liam Cameron.

The fight and undercard – set to feature fighters Tommy Frank, Scott Westgarth, Danny Kennedy, Danny Tombs, Joss Paul, Kash Ali, Dan West, and Ramzy Nassa – will be shown live and free on FreeSports TV (Sky Channel 424; Freeview Channel 95; Talk Talk Channel 95; BT Channel 95).