Action Images/Andrew Couldridge
THE aim is for Billy Joe Saunders eventually to take part in a high profile unification for all the middleweight world titles. But he has to get through his October 22 defence of the WBO belt against Artur Akavov at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff for his promoter Frank Warren to restart talks with Gennady Golovkin’s team.
“He needs to be just focused on this fight: looking ahead is not where he needs to be. He needs to get the ring-rust out of his system. Nothing’s going to happen between now and the 22nd, after that we can get things moving,” Warren said.
Golovkin was well received when he came to the UK to fight Kell Brook. It would be the biggest fight available to Saunders, especially as Canelo is currently out of action with a damaged hand, and could take place in December. Saunders says he is open to a big fight this year and Golovkin’s team are eyeing a fight that month, possibly against Danny Jacobs.
But the WBO champion can only keep himself in the frame for a tilt at Golovkin if he retains his world title. “Provided he wins he will fight one of those guys, 100 per cent. If he loses then he won’t, will he? He’s got nothing to bring to the table, he’s got to bring the belt,” Warren insisted.
The promoter doesn’t think ‘GGG’ is unbeatable but warns, “There are chinks in his armour, but you’ve got to be a bit of a fighter to exploit that.
“We’d like to see a unification of the titles, and [Golovkin] wants to participate, and we’re doing our best to deliver it, but as I keep telling him he needs to focus.”