The Mexican star unloaded a massive uppercut to inflict a nasty swelling around Saunders’ right eye, which did not come out for the ninth round at AT&T Stadium, Arlington.
After a build-up, Saunders had frustrated Canelo with his slippery southpaw skills, but his fiery resistance was suddenly shattered by a four-weight champion who cemented his status as the sport’s No.1 fighter.
Hitting a quick hit, Saunders looked for his range in the first round, but Canelo gave a glimpse of his brutal strength with a thudded body kick.
A straight straight forced Saunders back on his heels in the second round as Canelo ramped up his power, prompting roars of joy from his loud support.
Saunders shook his head defiantly after resisting a sledgehammer with his right hand in the third, then responded with clusters of precise punches in the fourth.
A left hook ripped Canelo’s guard as Saunders moved up to fifth, even sticking his tongue out after landing sharper counters in sixth.
Irritation seeped into Canelo, who was surrounded by the evasive Saunders in the seventh.
But a huge uppercut staggered the Briton in the eighth and Canelo orchestrated the crowd with his fists before punishing Saunders’ swollen eye.
After that brief and brutal assault, Saunders couldn’t continue and his coach Mark Tibbs waved him around to signal another world title triumph for Canelo.