The attendance figure set an all-time record for an American indoor boxing event – breaking the previous record set in 1978 when Muhammad Ali beat Leon Spinks in front of 63,352 at the Louisiana Superdome – and scored the largest crowd in of a sporting event since the pandemic began.
Alvarez dominated the first seven laps, leading the three judges ‘scorecards, before a brutal uppercut in the eighth caused a deep cut under Saunders’ right eye and left the Briton unable to come out for the ninth tower.
Saunders was reportedly taken from the site by ambulance just after the fight to have the extent of his injuries assessed.
“Like I said before, the fight was going to develop in the seventh or eighth round,” Alvarez told broadcaster DAZN. “That’s what happened, but it wasn’t as hard as I expected. This is where I see that my preparation is good and that I am improving day by day.
“The fight that I won turn by turn. I told you my fight would develop after six or seven rounds, but I started to adapt quickly. I knew this round (the eighth) was going to be the last round. I knew I think I broke my cheek and I knew he wasn’t going to come out. That was all. “
Alvarez, widely regarded as one of the best boxers in the world, said “the plan” now is to unify the super middleweight division by claiming the IBF belt held by American Caleb Plant.
“I arrive. I’m coming, my friend, ”he said.
The hugely popular Mexican fighter delighted what appeared to be a largely Mexican crowd, raising his arms at one point during the fight to encourage the already noisy arena to make more noise.
“It’s hard to explain,” Alvarez said of their support. “I don’t have the words. All the emotions I feel, they give me the motivation to keep going. “