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Boxing

Billy Joe Saunders snubs megabucks TV deal to ensure he’s fully focussed on Canelo Alvarez showdown

BILLY JOE SAUNDERS turned down a big-money TV show to pursue his boxing dream.

The Hatfield traveller, 31, was offered the chance to have ITV film his Las Vegas training camp for Saturday’s shot at Canelo Alvarez.

Billy Joe Saunders has revealed he turned down a TV show ahead of his big fight against Canelo

But the WBO super-middleweight champion, who could snatch the WBA, WBC and Ring Magazine crowns from the Mexican, declined the offer to ensure total focus on a career-defining fight.

He said: “ITV approached me to do something out here.

“They wanted to film me here in Las Vegas, building up to the fight and then carry on back at home.

“It was a lot of money they offered me as well but I didn’t need the distraction.

“If I am not having my own kids around me as a nice distraction, then how can I have a load of strangers with cameras?

“I would rather have my kids around me distracting me, rather than a load of strangers with a camera in my face.

“Maybe afterwards, maybe so, but let’s get this fight out of the way first.”

Saunders is understandably concerned with some of the scorecards 55-1-2 Canelo has been gifted in the past.

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How Canelo and Saunders compare ahead of their bout

🥊 CANELO VS SAUNDERS: TV, live stream and start time info ahead of the big fight

Saunders has been joined in the US by his good friend Tyson Fury

He will have to convince three American judges, in Texas, if the fight goes the distance.

Canelo grabbed a controversial draw against Gennady Golovkin in 2017 when one judge scored it a 110-118 landslide in his favour.

And the one-sided 2013 defeat to Floyd Mayweather came despite one official inexplicably calling the showdown a draw.

Saunders said: “I just want to make sure I get an even playing field. If I get beaten fair and square then I will shake the man’s hand and say ‘fair play’.

“But I just want to make sure it’s a level playing field and then it could be up there with the greatest upsets by a Brit on foreign soil.”

Saunders has been tipped to spring a huge shock by Tyson Fury

Saunders could return to England as the biggest star in world boxing.

Canelo is the sport’s largest draw, with the four-weight hero having beaten SIX Brits so far.

But Saunders believes he can be Lucky No7.

He said: “I have trained my body to take on an army so there will be no excuses.

“I have been away in training camp for a long time now with my team and put the hours in.

“Once I start enjoying the moment I believe I am a very hard man to beat.

Standing in the opposite corner will be Mexican brute Canelo Alvarez

“A win would be up there with all of the great British wins abroad.”

Saunders has a perfect 30-0 record but you have to go back to 2017 for his last prime performance against dangerous opposition.

The form book suggests Canelo — who has moved up to win gold at light-heavyweight — will be too big and strong for the southpaw.

But Saunders thrives on proving his doubters wrong.

He said: “I can look at everyone’s opinion and I could get carried away with the people who think I will win.

“But I like to look at the people who think I will lose, that is what gets me going.

“My last couple of performances I have struggled for that drive of not being the favourite and knowing I need to pull something out of the bag.

“But I think this is that sort of fight.”

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