Canelo Alvarez is set to become the undisputed super middleweight champion.
After his performance on Saturday night at a crowded AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, there is no doubt a large contingent of fans who would already grant him that status. Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) won his seventh straight fight in a competitive outing against Billy Joe Saunders (30-1, 14 KOs), ending the fight in the eighth round when the Saunders corner ruled not to expel him. for the ninth.
It was Alvarez who left the 73,000-plus in the crowded venue as the fight was over long before the official result was announced as he took the center of the ring between the eighth and ninth rounds and started celebrating, which elicited a roar from the crowd.
With the win, Alvarez added Saunders’ WBO super middleweight belt to his WBA, WBC and The Ring middleweight titles.
Saunders had his moments throughout the fight, using excellent movement and a strong jab to win a few rounds out of two of the judges’ dashboards, but Alvarez’s power turned out to be the difference as he brought Saunders down for much of the fight and attacked with right hands on the body and a sharp uppercut that did the most damage.
It was in the eighth round that Canelo turned up the pressure and took control of the game.
After the fight, Canelo said he knew he would assert himself in the sixth and seventh rounds and when he saw the bruises develop around Saunders’ right eye. He knew it was over.
“I think I broke my cheek and I knew he wasn’t going to come out,” Canelo said via a Spanish translator.
According to commentator Todd Grisham, Saunders was rushed to hospital after being initially diagnosed with a fractured orbital bone.
With three alphabetic titles in his possession now, only the IBF super middleweight championship remains to be claimed. He’s made it clear he’s planning to tackle Caleb Plant for that belt next.
“That’s the plan, go get the belt and I’m coming, my friend,” Canelo said.
Click here for the sub-card results and play-by-play of Saturday’s Canelo vs Saunders card.