The subsequent stage of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s ground breaking strategy at 168lbs in 2021 has been made authority.
Soon after Alvarez required only three rounds to break the soul of obligatory challenger Avni
Yildirim in Miami, his next session was affirmed as being against current undefeated WBO super-middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders on May 8.
The setting for the battle will be declared at the appointed time, per Matchroom Boxing, who advance Saunders and have a working arrangement set up with Canelo Promotions. The battle will, nonetheless, be accessible internationally on DAZN except for Mexico.
This might seem like we’re moving on fast, and, well, we are. Let’s be frank: There is no reason to keep talking about Canelo Alvarez’s completely predictable demolition job against Avni Yildirim. Canelo vs Billy Joe Saunders is set and official for May 8. Let’s talk about that instead, because it’s a lot more interesting.
The fight between Canelo (55-1-2, 37 KO) and Saunders (30-0, 14 KO) will be for three of the four world titles at super middleweight, with Alvarez bringing the WBC and WBA belts, and Billy Joe his WBO strap. It is an obvious step — for either man! — to become undisputed champion at 168, which is what Canelo wants badly. The winner of this fight will have only the IBF belt to chase from there.
The 31-year-old Saunders is a bit of an odd one to figure in a lot of ways. He’s still unbeaten, but he’s had various close calls in his career, including some in fights where by reputation he should have been able to win handily. Chris Eubank Jr and Andy Lee pushing him hard late in fights is one thing. Artur Akavov and Marcelo Coceres giving him some fits is quite another.
Saunders has the rep of a skillfull technician, but “technician” doesn’t quite describe it; he’s not basic and he’s not robotic about things.
At his best, Saunders flows in fights, boxes very effectively and sometimes very awkwardly, but in a smooth way that makes opponents look bad.
It’s arguable, though, that we’ve really only seen that Saunders past a domestic level one time, back in Dec. 2017 when he went to Quebec and rather easily cruised past dangerous puncher David Lemieux, at times making Lemieux look downright lousy and way out of his league, which in all reality he was on that night. Saunders dominated that one, it was the sort of win that got people really excited about Billy Joe — and to some, really excited about him as a potential Canelo opponent.