The fight we have all been waiting for will take place on May 8 when Canelo Alvarez takes on Billy Joe Saunders in a super middleweight unification title fight. Will the Mexican win his 56th professional fight, or will the Brit cause a major upset?
Canelo Alvarez v Billy Joe Saunders Betting Tips & Predictions
What can we take from Canelo Alvarez’s recent title defence against Avni Yildirim? Well, that’s any easy one – absolutely nothing.
Canelo would have got a better workout in the gym on the bags, because just like his Turkish opponent, the bags don’t hit back.
Yildirim – like so many other fighters – gave it the big one before the fight, saying he would take the fight to Canelo and not be scared of his formidable opponent. Well, that didn’t happen did it? Canelo dominated from the off and had hardly broke into a sweat before Yildirim retired on his stool at the end of the third round.
It just seemed it was a big publicity stunt for Canelo to flex his muscles for a few rounds before announcing his next fight. This one should be a classic and an all-out war. He will now defend his WBA (Super), WBC and The Ring super middleweight titles against Billy Joe Saunders, who will put his own WBO belt on the line.
Now, I am not a massive fan of BJS personally – he comes across as juvenile and an egotist – although he is probably not like that all. I don’t know him, but what I do know is that on his day he can beat anyone. BJS is a quality fighter, and if he has a decent training camp and takes this fight seriously, he can push Canelo all the way.
If Saunders has a chance of beating Canelo, then he needs to knock him out. The Brit is not going to get a decision win over the Mexican in the United States. Whether he can do what no other professional fighter has ever done and knock Canelo down for the 10 count is yet to be seen.
I honestly do not think Saunders will knock Canelo out, but I do believe that his stubbornness and determination not to give in will take him the distance. So, on that reasoning I am backing Canelo to unify all the belts on points.
Road To Canelo Alvarez v Billy Joe Saunders
For years, Billy Joe Saunders has claimed he is the best fighter in the super middleweight division – well on May 8 he will get the opportunity to prove it.
BJS has his critics – me at times – for not focusing fully on his opponents or seemingly not taking training camps too seriously. He always calls out the big names and then very rarely gets the fights over the line.
Well, he has the fight he wants now. His fight against Canelo Alvarez will be his toughest bout yet, but what I have seen from BJS is that he thrives on that kind of pressure. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen that pressure for a while.
He cruised to a points win over Martin Murray back in December, and although he has beaten the likes of Marcelo Esteban Coceres, Shefat Isufi, Charles Adamu, David Lemieux and Willie Munroe Jr, he has not faced a huge name since beating Chris Eubank Jr in 2014 – and at the time it was Eubank’s name that took centre stage rather than Saunders himself.
Canelo is a different kind of animal to any fighter that BJS has ever faced. The Mexican just loves to be in the ring, this will be his fifth fight in two years and apart from Yildirim, they have been formidable opponents.
He won a unanimous decision over Daniel Jacobs in May 2019 before knocking out Sergey Kovalev in the 11th round as he moved up to light heavyweight to win the WBO title. He then dropped down to super middleweight and went the distance again and won another unanimous decision against Britain’s Callum Smith to win the WBA (Super), WBC and The Ring titles.
Canelo can never complain about lack of activity, while BJS has only been in the ring once since November 2019.
Canelo Alvarez v Billy Joe Saunders: Fighter’s Predictions
Billy Joe Saunders: “Canelo, I’m ready to rock and roll. You have to dare to be great and you aren’t going to be a great if you don’t beat the greats. I believe I am the only one with the footwork, know-how, skill set, mindset and brain to unlock that door in Canelo.
“He’s the main man in the sport and the face of boxing. You have to give him respect, he hasn’t ducked anyone, he’s beaten good names, but nobody is unbeatable, and I believe I have got the tools to beat him if I use them properly and if the game plan comes off that I believe works.
“I am looking at the golden ticket to cement my legacy, and that’s how you have to go in there to beat him.
“I’ve won everything from Southern Area to world titles, I could say, ‘I’ve won it all, been to the Olympics, I’m unbeaten — I’ll see you later’.
“But I’ve only just turned 31, I’ve got no miles on the clock, haven’t taken any punishment. I believe he’s been in harder fights than me and has more miles, so I want to cement my legacy and beat him.”
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) February 28, 2021
Promoter Eddie Hearn: “I said to him (Canelo), ‘BJS is a tough fight.’ He [Canelo] said, ‘Yeah, for three rounds,’”
“I said, ‘It won’t be easy work like Yildirim,’ and he said, ‘Yildirim was easy work. [Callum] Smith was easy work. Saunders is easy work.‘”