Saturday evenings in Arlington, Texas, are typically reserved for NFL playoff nights for the Cowboys. This Saturday, a gunslinger from throughout the border rides into city and AT&T Stadium performs host to the most important attract boxing.
Three super-middleweight titles will be on the road when the WBA/WBC titlist, Mexican famous person Canelo Alvarez, faces the WBO holder, Billy Joe Saunders from England, in what will be an intriguing conflict of types.
What might be mentioned about Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KOs) that we don’t know already? At age 30, he’s on the peak of his powers, and he’s in all probability at his optimum weight (167.4 kilos at Friday’s weigh-in). The four-division champ is clearly the No. 1 fighter on the planet based mostly on his résumé alone, and his record of big-name victims is longer than one’s arm, but in some quarters, he nonetheless doesn’t get the credit score he deserves.
He has confronted the very best within the three divisions wherein he has primarily participated, and aside from that factors defeat to Floyd Mayweather eight years in the past — when all of the phrases (together with weight) had been towards him — he has remained unbeaten. No matter what he does from right here on out, his legacy and place in boxing historical past is assured: Alvarez is without doubt one of the best fighters ever from his native Mexico.
So, if Alvarez is revered, however not likeable, he faces the same enigma in his opponent on Saturday night. Saunders has a 30-0 document (14 KOs), is a 12 months older than Alvarez and can also be extremely gifted. But although Alvarez all the time seems to be to offer his finest, the Englishman typically doesn’t — Saunders fights to the extent of his opponent, typically showing unmotivated. When he’s on his recreation, although, he pulls out signature wins, similar to his technical dismantling of David Lemieux, a victory he made look straightforward with a shutout factors win almost 3 ¹/₂ years in the past. Add within the victory over former long-time contender Andy Lee and you’ll see the one-time Olympian possesses particular abilities. He will want all of them, plus tons of willpower, within the combat he has been ready for, the most important combat of his profession.
Stylistically, this seems to be extra of an attention-grabbing — reasonably than thrilling — matchup. Alvarez is powerful, large on the weight, though he’s not tall at 5-foot-8. His 70.5-inch attain is respectable, thus he solely will be freely giving a half-inch on this measurement to Saunders, who at 5-11, 167.8 kilos, will be seeking to make the most of his size benefit, in addition to his sooner ft. The energy benefit definitely lies with Alvarez, and he’s very able to successful this by stoppage, whereas Saunders will need to do it the arduous method and attempt to win on factors. Alvarez will endeavor to return ahead, lower off the ring and get Saunders cornered so he could make use of his heavy arms to move and physique. In distinction, Saunders will be transferring backward, making an attempt to maintain Alvarez at size, utilizing his fast ft and snappy punches to maintain his opponent off steadiness and reaching. It figures to be a basic bull-against-matador contest, the stress getting utilized by Alvarez, the frustration coming from Saunders.
Both fighters have accomplished the 12-round distance 12 instances. Saunders has by no means competed in a unification of world titles, however Alvarez has on six events, every of them going the space. Alvarez has confronted unbeaten fighters in eight contests: Five of these bouts went the space (one in every of them is his solely defeat, to Mayweather), the opposite three went 9 rounds or longer.
The questions we now have been listening to from combat followers throughout social media are the next: Will this be one of many greatest shocks by a Brit preventing throughout the Atlantic? Will Alvarez cease Saunders?
We say no to each questions. If Austin Trout, Callum Smith and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. can take Alvarez the space, so can Saunders, however we are able to’t see Saunders doing sufficient to impress the judges in entrance of what will successfully be a hometown crowd for Alvarez. The types and stats of each fighters are indicating an end result that seems to be the logical one, which is Alvarez to win by choice.
Pick: Canelo Alvarez by factors + 150