Alvarez beats Saunders to unify super middleweight titles

Published May 9, 2021, 1:23 PM

by Agence-France-Presse

Canelo Alvarez punches Billy Joe Saunders during their fight for Alvarez’s WBC and WBA super middleweight titles and Saunders’ WBO super middleweight title at AT&T Stadium on May 08, 2021 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by AL BELLO / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez stopped Billy Joe Saunders in eight rounds Saturday to retain his WBC and WBA titles and seize the Briton’s WBO crown in their super middleweight unification fight.

Alvarez won by technical knockout after Saunders retired on his stool at the end of the eighth round in front of 73,000-plus fans at AT&T Stadium, the largest US crowd ever to watch an indoor boxing event.

Saunders corner threw in the towel after their previously unbeaten fighter couldn’t see out of his right eye which was badly swollen from Alvarez’s powerful blows. 

Alvarez could sense victory in the eighth round as he chased the southpaw around the ring and waved his arms in the air as if to let the pro-Mexican crowd know that the end of the fight was near.

The fight at the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys was also the largest crowd to watch a US sports event since the coronavirus pandemic.

Alvarez improved to 56-1-2 with 38 knockouts, while Saunders, 31, dropped to 30-1 with 14 KOs.

The victory is another step in four weight world champion Alvarez’s quest to dominate the 168-pound division.

The 30-year-old Alvarez started slow, feeling his opponent out in the early rounds. But everything changed in the eighth and the end came suddenly for Saunders.

The fight came down to Alvarez’s power and speed and the boxing skills of Saunders, who proved to be a tough opponent for the Mexican champ to catch in the early rounds.

But Alvarez had his way in the eighth as Saunders tried to duck and clinch his way through the round, but the punches were too much for him and his swollen right eye was closing fast.