Get your boxing tips ahead of one of the year’s most anticipated ring events, with four belts going on the line as Canelo Alvarev takes on Billy Joe Saunders in Texas.
- Alvarez – 55-1-2 (37 by KO/TKO)
- Saunders – 30-0-0 (14 by KO/TKO)
- Alvarez def Avni Yildirim – Rd 3 RTD – February 27, 2021
- Saunders def Martin Murray – Unanimous decision – December 4, 2020
Final thoughts: Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders square off in a super-middleweight unification bout – and one of the most anticipated boxing events of 2021.
WBA, WBC and The Ring champion Alvarez is already considered an all-time great. The 30-year-old has lost just once in 55 fights, to ring icon Floyd Mayweather back in 2013.
Alvarez took 13 months out after winning the WBO light heavyweight title with an 11th-round KO of Sergey Kovalev in November 2019. Returning to super middleweight, the Mexican reclaimed the WBA, The Ring and vacant WBC belts from Callum Smith via unanimous decision in December last year. He followed that up with a February victory over Avni Yildirim, whose corner threw in the towel after three rounds.
Alvarez landed 67 punches to Yildirim’s 11. It was his 37th KO/TKO win.
Canelo Alvarez beats Avni Yildirim with a third-round TKO. 🥊
Who just tripled their money? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/YwzF3oSaZD
— FOX Bet (@FOXBet) February 28, 2021
But Saunders represents one of Alvarez’s biggest challenges of recent years. The undefeated southpaw has won all 30 fights – 14 by knockout – since turning pro in 2009.
Saunders defended the WBO middleweight title three times before moving up to super middleweight in 2018, before winning the vacant WBO belt in that division with a unanimous decision over Shefat Isufi in May 2019.
But the Brit has fought just twice since. He stopped Marcleo Esteban Coceres in the 11th round of their November 2019 fight. Then at the end of a controversy-stained 2020 out of the ring, Saunders beat compatriot Martin Murray by unanimous decision in December.
AND STILL! 👏
Billy Joe Saunders retains his WBO super-middleweight belt after sealing a unanimous decision win over Martin Murray with scores of 120-109, 120-109 and 118-110. pic.twitter.com/aq9lQUmjRx
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) December 4, 2020
Saunders’ style to test Canelo’s substance
The 31-year-old Saunders is a savvy, durable fighter with a unique style that frequently succeeds in frustrating his opponents. He also boasts a slight height and reach advantage over Canelo.
The likes of Tyson Fury and Roy Jones Jr rate Saunders a big chance of upsetting Alvarez. But Canelo is recognised as the world’s best active pound-for-pound boxer by multiple respected organisations – and is the $1.14 favourite – for a reason.
"The gypsies are here!" — Billy Joe Saunders made sure to deliver a few messages to Canelo Alvarez during their first face off today. pic.twitter.com/GysHmqPW5o
— TheMacLife (@Maclifeofficial) May 5, 2021
Alvarez is lauded for his genuine desire to fight the best available opponent. This unification bout will help shape his legacy and his recent ring-time gives him a handy advantage.
But expect him to have to go the distance to inflict the first loss of Saunders’ career.