Billy Joe Saunders and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez had to be separated as they faced off ahead of their world title fight this weekend.
The pair will meet in the ring on Saturday night at the home of the Dallas Cowboys in Texas, for a highly anticipated super-middleweight unification bout.
The build-up has been characterised by animosity between the fighters. They engaged in a dispute over the size of the ring while Saunders did not turn up to a media commitment on Tuesday, leaving Canelo to face the press alone. There have also been reports of altercations between members of their entourages in the hotel where both are staying.
As they faced off, Saunders warned Canelo: “You’ve never been in the ring with someone like me. You’ve never seen anybody with this heart.”
Canelo replied: ”You are going to see,” before being pulled back by his trainer Eddy Reynoso.
“Walk away,” Saunders goaded.
Saunders is undefeated in 30 fights and will try to become the first Briton to beat Canelo after six previous failures, most recently Callum Smith who lost his perfect record against the talented Mexican.
“This fight is all about the brain,” said Saunders. “Not about power, muscle or skill, it’s the brain and the game plan, and being able to execute that game plan.
“I brush opinions off because I know what goes through my head and my mind, and what I have done in my career is through the will and want to win, and the day I lose that, I won’t put a pair of gloves on again.
“I can only control what I am in control of and that myself, not what is outside the ring. It’s going to be a great fight. It’s one I’ve wanted for years and it’s finally landed. There’s a lot at stake for both of us. Would I like my fans there? Yes. Would I like UK media there? Yes. If the fight was moved to the Mexican border I wouldn’t care.”
Tyson Fury has flown out to Texas to support Saunders.
“He will give him a boxing lesson, smash him, stop him in round 11 or 12,” Fury told Matchroom’s YouTube channel. ”I’ve never been as confident about anything in my life.”