Canelo Alvarez (56-1-2 38kos) is the Pound for Pound king there is no disputing that. After picking up the WBO Super Middleweight title after stopping Billy Joe Saunders (30-1 14kos) that grip is tighter on the throne. In a fight filled with 73,126 fans from the home of The Dallas Cowboys which set the U.S. record for a crowd indoors. A lot of people saw a possible walkover for Canelo, but that was not to be the case as early on Saunders showed he was there to win. How many rounds did he actually win is debatable, but he was at the very least giving a good account of himself. Many questions how much Canelo had improved with a fighter who many considered and a mover, as in previous bouts Canelo did have struggles. That was a selling point in this fight and now we can say Canelo is constantly evolving as he didn’t seem bothered by the attempted movements of Saunders.
Saunders definitely didn’t appear to be intimated or in awe of the moment. Early on Canelo was a bit cautious has Saunders threw a prodding jab to try and keep Canelo at bay, but Canelo kept going forward. Canelo seemed to many to win 3 to 4 of the first five rounds. Though round five saw the best work from Billy as he came forward and threw combinations and gave his fans some hope. Canelo was never in danger, but it was clearly a Saunders round. Saunders continued to make some adjustments and come forwarding in the 6th and 7th round, but clearly Canelo’s shots were having a bigger effect.
Round 8 saw Canelo pressing forward and landing combinations and as Saunders dipped down Canelo caught him with a precise counter uppercut that appeared to instantly break Saunders Orbital bone. The round went on and Saunders looked to survive as Canelo recognized Saunders was hurt he played to the crowd and attacked Saunders. Once the round ended Saunders went to the corner and said he couldn’t see and the corner stopped the fight. When asked after the fight if he was surprised Saunders didn’t come out for the 9th round, Canelo responded “no I told Eddy Reyonoso (Canelo’s trainer) I broke his face he’s not coming out.” Canelo was right on the money, as Saunders was transported to the hospital immediately following the fight.
This victory for Canelo puts him one step away from his goal of becoming Undisputed at Super Middleweight. His next fight should be against IBF Champion Caleb Plant in September as Canelo said is the plan. Canelo has now not tasted defeat when he suffered his one loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. You can see the vast improvement in Canelo since that loss and should he become undisputed at 168 the lessons learned that night certaintly helped. Let’s hope we get the undisputed fight this September and nobody cares which network or any of that just get the fight done Boxing deserves it.