Demetrius Andrade believes that Billy Joe Saunders did not improve sufficiently to make his fight with Canelo Alvarez a true contest.
Saunders was prevented from coming out to fight the ninth round against the Mexican after fractured orbital bones meant it was no longer safe for him to continue.
The Briton had edged a few rounds until that point, but most people thought he had done well to stay in without expecting Canelo to do anything but win eventually. As for Andrade, he claimed that Saunders offered little different from his previous attempts.
“I thought Billy Joe didn’t have a real game plan,” Andrade said to BoxingScene.com.
“He just came out, did his thing, and didn’t make any adjustments once he seen the things he was doing wasn’t working. He kept bending down low. Canelo kept throwing the same shot over and over, and he kept falling into it. Eventually, he got caught with it. Fighting Canelo, you know, you have to be more technically sound and, you know, work on your defense. He had no defense. He was pretty much hands down, wide open, trying to throw combinations.
“When he was pulling out, he was pulling out with his hands down. He just didn’t have any good defense and didn’t know how to adjust when he was inside the ring with Canelo. And Canelo did a good job because Canelo’s hands was up, he’s countering and he already know what shots to look for. He was throwing the same shots all night, and Billy Joe kept doing the same thing to keep himself in danger.”
“I already knew Billy Joe isn’t the strongest middleweight out there,” Andrade continued.
“He’s not as strong as Canelo and he doesn’t have that will, I don’t think. I would’ve thought he would’ve trained extremely hard to put on a fight. And it just seems like he didn’t really fight the fight he needed to put on. He fought the way how Billy Joe usually fights. He didn’t do anything different to try to step up the level. Not that he’s not good. He just didn’t step up the level. He couldn’t take it to the next level.
“I don’t know what his training was like. I don’t know what their game plan was. But to sit there and try to throw soft jabs at Canelo, and then sit there and think you can put your hands down with Canelo, that’s not gonna work. And then you’re ducking like an amateur. He was ducking down low, like an amateur. And those uppercuts were all Canelo was throwing all night. So, why do you keep bending that way? It was just there for the taking whenever the opportunity came. So, Canelo caught him on his way out, maybe, when he was coming out from the duck, and he got caught clean.”
After the fight, Andrade gatecrashed Canelo’s press conference as he looked to finally make a big fight after struggling to find winning champion opponents. His promoter Eddie Hearn believes that both boxers ultimately benefited from the stunt, he said to the DAZN Boxing Show.