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The telegraph

Billy Joe Saunders: ‘I would give up my life and say goodbye to my kids to beat Canelo – it means everything to me’

Billy Joe Saunders is ready to put his life on the line next Saturday night in the biggest challenge of his career if that’s what it takes to defeat ledger to pound Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in Texas. Saunders, undefeated in 30 fights and two-weight world champion, will never be involved in a more ‘legacy-defining’ moment than this, against Mexican boxing superstar for the WBC and WBA titles supermiddle de Canelo and Saunders’ WBO belt. After an hour of interviews surrounded by a great film crew, Saunders, the eternal joker, finally falls silent as the super middleweight world champion begins to detail the sacrifices he’s willing to make to get home. with victory. “It means everything to me, everything. Absolutely everything. More than money, more than fame, more than anything. I want to win so badly. If that means I say goodbye to my kids and I don’t. will never see again, I can leave this land happy to know I won. It means a lot to me, “the unmoved traveler from Hertfordshire told Telegraph Sport.” As we say, the gypsies, “we don’t are not here to participate, we are here to take over. ”“ Some admission from the accomplished left-handed boxer who appeared in great shape throughout a long camp in Las Canarias, Spain, before acclimating to Las Vegas for the past three weeks. Saunders said Canelo “never fought a gypsy” and opened up about being involved from a young age in “ fair fights ” – how travelers settle their disputes – and having felt a call to boxing since he was five – a year old growing on a site surrounded by mobile homes and caravans. Already rich in his undefeated career, he has never moved far – he has already bought a five-bedroom detached house, but gave it up because he could not settle there – and continues to run his horses with carriages. The 31-year-old has insisted he will never change. “I’ve been my own man since I was 15, doing my own thing, and it’s always been boxing. I have been boxing since I was five years old, I have boxed all my life, “he explained.” I have had dreams since I was a child and this moment is part of my dreams. To be born into this culture, everyone says they have a difficult upbringing, but you might struggle every day. I was born for this. Our culture is animals, horses, dogs, chickens – we love them. I have grown up in this culture all my life and I am never too far from it. I’m still in touch with it. But this time, I just got locked up. I gave up five, six months of my life for one night, 36 minutes or less. Saunders insisted there was no surrender in him. He never lost professionally – although at times he was accused of getting tangled up in fights, such is his level of comfort and skills in the ring – and never lost a ‘fair fight.’ “No, never, I don’t know what that feels like. Personally I would go and go until I did. can’t breathe anyway. I’d rather be cold or have a hemorrhaging attack, all over the place, but lose. Standing opposite Saunders in the ring next week is arguably the most formidable all-round fighter in the world. planet. Canelo is considered by most people to be the No. 1 boxer in the world right now, pound for pound. But Saunders shares his head. He’s unfazed. “I don’t care about… about Canelo Alvarez, not two …. For me, in my own brain, I planned this in my own head and dreamed about it ever since I was a little boy who fights in the front room. I imagined that day would come. People say I haven’t lived life, I haven’t done it well, but I’m here. Two-weight world champion, two-time world champion, 30 fights, 30 wins, won every title on the way. I am here for a reason, 100%. “” Like I said if I win this fight let me win this fight let me say goodbye to my kids I would say adios I would go today … I would sign the deal to do it now. I think Canelo has the same feelings. For me, it’s a question of inheritance, it’s not a question of money. The money comes, the money goes. We all know that. Money is dust to me, money is not everything. To win this fight, when you die, it lasts for years, years and years. Saunders has deep respect for Canelo, a four-weight world champion who has lost just once, eight years ago in points to Floyd Mayweather in a 16-year career, 58 fights. “” I see a very, very well rounded fighter. I see the best fighter on the planet and I need to see him. It’s not good that I say it by saying that it hurts so badly, so badly. Because it doesn’t really hurt much. He does a lot, very, very well. So I have to give him credit and a pat on the back for how he’s come in leaps and bounds. But it’s up to me to crack this code. “This will be one of the fights where he has to search to find me. I won’t be there with my hands on the ropes and I will let him come and hit me, trade blows. “my night.” We do what I want to do here. If you want to change, do me. Make me change my game plan. I’m here to change his game plan. When someone is put on this place, surrounded by this moment, it’s a very surreal feeling. “

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