Tonight’s the night.
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (55-1-2), widely considered the pound-for-pound best in the world right now, puts his WBA (Super), WBC and The Ring super middleweight titles up for grabs in a unification bout with WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders (30-0) at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Widely regarded as the favourite, a recent fight simulation had Canelo coming in eight pounds heavier than his opponent. In reality, both men successfully made weight with Saunders coming in at 167.8 pounds and Canelo ever so slightly lighter at 167.4.
Five thousand very vocal Canelo supporters turned up for the weigh-in, booing Saunders into next week. Unfazed, the Brit can expect that and then some from the 70,000 in attendance later tonight.
Fight Night Simulation
Round one starts cautiously for both men, with Saunders landing a few more shots than his legendary opponent in the opening minutes. Canelo’s defence remains rock solid, though, eventually landing several quick jabs of his own.
Even-footed, it’s not obvious who’s going to come out of this one with all the belts just yet.
Round two opens with a bunch of missed shots from both men before Canelo dismantles Saunders with a brutal body blow. Saunders makes it back to his feet despite the damage and the fight continues with the Mexican resuming the cautious defence he employed in round one. More missed shots, perhaps one of them will catch a cold with all these gusts of wind they’re throwing.
Canelo catches his controversial opponent a few more times, not enough for a win, but certainly enough to score some points with the judges.
A right hook from Canelo, however, then sends Saunders back to the canvas in round three, but the Manchester marvel returns to his feet.
An uppercut to the chin puts Saunders down and out for the third time. Exhausted, the WBO champ makes a painful attempt at returning to his feet before completely collapsing.
Just as Mike Tyson has predicted, Canelo runs away with the victory here, adding another belt to his already stacked collection. Looks like Billy Joe Saunders will not be endorsing Fight Night anytime soon…
Canelo vs BJS Preview
In what promises to be the biggest boxing bout of the year so far, Canelo and Saunders will throw down to see who is the true king of the super middleweight scene later tonight (or early tomorrow for those of on this side of the Atlantic)
Both fighters are coming in strong with Canelo having defeated Avni Yildirim in January and Saunders picking up a win over Martin Murray back in December.
Despite being widely regarded as the underdog, Saunders believes tonight will be his greatest moment yet: “This will be the greatest win by a Brit abroad. ‘Canelo’ has defeated six Brits, I’m the last body they’ve got to chuck out because there is no-one else coming through in the super-middleweight division who has a better chance than myself.
“People may have different views, but I have my own views and my own vision. I’m the seventh Brit and if I don’t do it, then I don’t think anyone can do it.
“So hopefully everything goes well and the main thing is that it’s a fair shake of the dice because I’m up against it with the opponent. I don’t want to be up against everything else as well.”