BILLY JOE SAUNDERS has his eyes on Canelo Alvarez after comfortably downing Martin Murray at Wembley Arena.
In his fifth shot at a world title, veteran Murray took Saunders through 12 rounds on Friday night but the reigning champ was happy to take the ring time.
Having been out of the ring for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic and a BBBofC suspension for a domestic violence joke, the 31-year-old is keen to build on this new momentum.
And Mexican star Canelo is on his radar, along with Callum Smith, Gennady Golovkin and Demetrius Andrade.
Saunders said post-fight: “It’s very important now for me to stay in the gym. I just turned 31, I feel like I’m in my prime.
“Let’s get the big names out there, obviously Canelo and Smith’s out there, Andrade’s out there.
“Everyone wants Canelo, I hope Smith beats him. If not, that’s the fight in the new year I want.”
Unbeaten challenger Smith travels to Texas later this month to fight Canelo for his WBA super-middleweight crown.
It was due to be WBO title-holder Saunders facing the Mexican in the summer but the pandemic slammed the brakes on negotiations.
Promoter Eddie Hearn revealed last night just how close a deal was.
He said: “We were one day away from the press conference for Canelo against Billy Joe Saunders.
“The pandemic hit and the fight got cancelled.
“Now it’s important the momentum continues. [Saunders] has got to be a pro now, he’s got to be ready. We can’t waste the opportunity to see how good he is.
“Canelo, Golovkin, Andrade, Smith – it’s got to be one of them next. He will fight anyone.”
Another man previously tipped to fight Saunders, Andrade, called out the Brit to put their unbeaten records on the line.
The American declared: “If I could fight Saunders, I will. Now’s the time, with Covid-19, to put on these fights.
“People wanna see the best fights right now because they can’t attend.
“I’ve just got to keep beating whoever they put in front of me. I’m fighting tough guys.
“They’re not the biggest mainstream names, but they’re guys that the hardcore boxing fans know are tough opponents.
“I’m up for the challenge. Not a lot of boxers wanna do that, they want the easy fights.”