Hey, what can I say? On Saturday night time, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez set a US indoor boxing attendance document, packing over 73,000 followers into AT&T Stadium (throughout a worldwide pandemic) and did what he’s been doing lately– he brutally disassembled one other one of many “greatest” at tremendous middleweight.
With the victory, the 30-year-old Mexican star and undisputed largest attract boxing added the WBO tremendous middleweight title to his WBA and WBC belts.
As for Canelo’s opponent?
Billy Joe Saunders, who has bashed fighters prior to now for “quitting,” got here out to ring stroll music that featured Winston Churchill’s iconic World Warfare II “We’ll by no means give up” quote…after which he went out and stop…within the largest struggle of his profession…after spherical eight.
No…simply actuality. Saunders wasn’t nearly as good as his hype made him out to be and he merely wasn’t on Canelo’s degree. As I wrote in final Thursday’s Mail Sack column:
“Saunders is an excellent fighter, however I believe he falls into that class of being one other British fighter critically overhyped by the British media and followers, then accepted as reality by a lazy/incompetent American press. It’s just like Callum Smith, who I insisted for the longest time was merely inferior to everybody was hyping him as much as be. And we noticed the distinction in ranges when he obtained within the ring towards Canelo. Within the case of Saunders, his type could also be extra off-putting to Canelo than Smith’s was, however he’s not as elusive or as tough as media and followers play him as much as be and he undoubtedly can’t go toe-to-toe with Alvarez. I believe Canelo will determine him out pretty early after which shut him down.”
That’s not a knock on anybody. It’s simply an acknowledgment that Canelo is working at one other degree, considerably higher than the very best out there to him at 168 (as of now).
Saunders was only when he utilized a loosey-goosey, shoot-from-the-hips type. The issue with that, nevertheless, is that it requires plenty of vitality and focus that Billy Joe doesn’t have. It additionally form of solely works in case you can draw your opponent off-kilter, off-balance, out of his game– and Canelo was completely not being drawn away from his sport. That final huge shot of the struggle, which can have busted Saunders’ eye socket, was testomony to that. Saunders obtained fluid, Alvarez held his floor tightly after which banged him straight up the center.
Alvarez harm/bothered/effected Saunders with each strong punch he landed from the opening bell ahead. Even in case you disregarded the realities making Saunders an underdog previous to the struggle, issues had been making themselves clear very early on that the Brit was out of his league. He merely wasn’t on Canelo’s degree and, sadly for his well-being, prime Canelo Alvarez doesn’t undergo fools and pretenders gladly.
Based on promoter Eddie Hearn, Saunders might have had his orbital bone damaged [Saunders’ health status had not been revealed as of this writing] and can “be out for an extended, very long time.”
And, yeah, I’ll come out and say that it’s exhausting to really feel any sympathy for Billy Joe due to his lengthy historical past of being a big douche bag and dogging different fighters for “quitting.”
Late final 12 months, commenting on Daniel Dubois retiring in his bout with Joe Joyce following the same eye damage, he had this to say on the AK and Barak Present:
“Fighters get in that ring and we all know what’s on the road…Earlier than I am going on one knee I’d prefer to exit on my again with my pulse stopped.
“You take a look at the greats — the eyes, the face, we get by that. That’s the trail in life we select for a residing. We punch individuals within the face and get punched within the face.
“If my two eye sockets had been damaged, my jaw was damaged, my enamel had been out, my nostril was smashed, my mind was overwhelmed, I used to be not stopping till I used to be knocked out or worse.”
So, go away Billy Joe Saunders. You bought your payday.
Now, getting again to Canelo.
It’s clear what he needs subsequent. He needs Caleb Plant’s IBF belt in pursuit of changing into a unified four-belt champion. It ought to be a reasonably straightforward struggle to make, except Plant, understanding what’s coming his manner and the way a lot is driving on him signing a contract, decides to carry out for a ridiculous sum of money. If a Plant struggle doesn’t occur, there are different choices on the market, like John Ryder and David Lemieux. But it surely’s clearly the Plant struggle that Alvarez needs most.
It’ll be attention-grabbing to see what the Mexican’s plans are when/if he turns into the first-ever actually unified 168 lb. champ. There’ll be some attention-grabbing choices on the market for him after this belt run. David Benavidez or Jermall Charlo could be superior. Possibly John Ryder or David Lemieux as s palate-cleanser after an enormous struggle. Possibly Chris Eubank Jr. Then, there’s the more and more unlikely probability of a 3rd Golovkin struggle (this one at tremendous middleweight). Demetrius Andrade tried to hustle his method to the entrance of the road on the post-fight press convention Saturday night time, however was completely dismissed by Alvarez (If solely Boo Boo had been one-tenth as entertaining and as daring within the ring as he was in that press convention invasion). There’s additionally the opportunity of a transfer as much as 175, which Canelo, himself, mentioned was unlikely.
Regardless of the case, I’ll reiterate what I’ve been saying in regards to the man who I’ve criticized, complimented, criticized, and complimented within the past– we’re now watching one thing particular.
We’ve seen Canelo dominate three fighters in 5 months– two reliable world champs (ranked no. 1 and no. 4, respectively on the time of their Canelo struggle) and a WBC necessary. If he beats Plant in September, that’ll make it three legit world champs and a compulsory defeated in a span of ten months. That is the stuff of recent day legend. And if Pound-for-Pound is an actual factor, assessed with actual, verifiable standards, there isn’t any affordable argument to be made for anybody however Canelo Alvarez being no. 1 proper now.
Saul Alvarez is preventing typically. He’s preventing the very best. He’s beating the very best, decisively. And he’s not executed with this quest to legacy he’s embarked upon. In the event you’re a wise, affordable struggle fan, you’re appreciating this outstanding run.
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