TOO many great fights have slipped away without taking place and others like Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao were too long in the making. That clash became a money making exercise, and little else.

During my time following our sport, being on the boxing beat as a newspaper man or BoxNation pundit, fans have been the losers when great fights have failed to even materialise.

I can remember being a schoolboy dreaming of Alexis Arguello v Roberto Duran and George Foreman v Earnie Shavers, but neither happened.

In the early 1990s a rematch of the 1988 Olympic games final between Riddick Bowe and Lennox Lewis famously collapsed when the American ditched the green and gold WBC belt in a dustbin at a London hotel. That should have been a world heavyweight championship fight for the ages.

There can be no complaints about the timing of Saturday’s middleweight blockbuster between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin even if it has taken two years to make.

Two fighters, acknowledged as the two best in their division, few weaknesses, meeting at the right time and few experts tipping with certainty.

Look back at Mayweather v Pacquiao borefest in May 2015. Had they met late 2009 or early 2010 it may well have been one to remember for the right reasons. Pacquiao appeared the man to beat Mayweather and was arguably the No 1 in the world after demolishing Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto.

Had Canelo v Golovkin taken place around the same time as Mayweather v Pacquiao did it would still have been acknowledged as a better fight even though the combatants didn’t have had the crossover appeal of the American or Filipino, then.

Canelo is the biggest sporting superstar in Mexico right now and Golovkin’s appeal is mushrooming thanks to HBO taking a chance on him.

That TV breakthrough was five years ago, when he stopped Grzegorz Proksa. Since then he and Canelo have been the catalysts in keeping HBO such major players in boxing.

Canelo v GGG is quiet simply the best middleweight fight of this generation, and nobody will be disappointed with what unfolds at the T-Mobile Arena.

And if you bought that last superfight between two boxers when Mayweather played with Pacman, surely you’ll want a piece of what is going down in Las Vegas this weekend.

If you want my tip, Canelo on points.

IT’S now or never for Billy Joe Saunders when he risks his WBO middleweight title against Willie Monroe Jr at London’s Copper Box Arena.

Wins over Chris Eubank Jr and Andy Lee show what a talent Saunders is but ill-discipline away from the gym and ring has often ended in lacklustre performances.

Saunders belt

It’s no secret that shock switch to new trainer Dominic Ingle has kept him away from the fridge and late night snooker matches with pals from his Hatfield travellers’ site.

Saunders wants to be next in line to fight the Canelo v GGG winner, a performance like his last against Artur Akavov will leave that dream in tatters.

It wont end his career, but American TV networks, who would be one of the paymasters, may not be so keen.

Only the best Saunders will do. He knows and so does promoter Frank Warren who has always stood shoulder-to-shoulder with his boxer.

DEPRESSION and mental illness are something boxers are willing to talk about, particularly if they have suffered.

The British Boxing Board of Control haven’t been the most active solving this problem and one well known recovery clinic have told me the sport does little to help such serious issues.

The BBBC could do a lot worse than give a big role to Leon McKenzie who announced his retirement after Saturday’s Fight of the Year contender against Cello Renda.

Leon McKenzie

Leon has spoken eloquently about his fight against depression which culminated in a suicide bid and has been an ambassador in raising awareness.

McKenzie doesn’t just come from a famous fighting family, he is respected by all in boxing and football where he had great success.

It wouldn’t cost the Board a fortune to hire McKenzie who is a role model and a man boxers struggling would find easy to share problems with.