Billy Joe Saunders plans to “make a statement” on his American debut later today when he defends his WBO super-middleweight title against unbeaten Argentine Marcelo Coceres.
Saunders fights at The Staples Center on a card which has courted both controversy and intrigue this week, with promoter Eddie Hearn outlining a quartet of blockbuster fights if the Hertfordshire fighter returns triumphant.
Saunders (28-0 13 KOs) makes his long-awaited United States debut and fights on the undercard of the heavily-promoted ‘Youtuber’ grudge fight between KSI and Logan Paul. Rising US lightweight Devin Haney faces Alfredo Santiago in the first defence of his WBC lightweight crown on the same bill.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Hearn called Saunders “an immense talent”. He is being lined up for fights with Saul Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin, Demetrius Andrade and Callum Smith at middleweight and super middleweight.
Saunders has won world titles in both divisions and explained that he is content to fight in both divisions “or even go up to light heavyweight for the right opportunity”. But first he must impress against the Argentine, who has fluid hands, and explained this week that coming up against an unbeaten two-weight world champion on a huge platform was “the pinnacle” of his fighting life.