Mexican pound-for-pound nice Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez added the WBO tremendous middleweight title to his WBA and WBC crowns as he pressured British rival Billy Joe Saunders to quit on his stool after eight rounds in Texas.
Following a build-up mired in rows over the ring measurement and conduct bordering on the disrespectful from Saunders, Alvarez was the person to unify the titles in entrance of 73,000 raucous followers on the AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
The Mexican landed the decisive blow in the eighth spherical with a devastating uppercut which immediately left Saunders with a grotesquely swollen proper eye.
Alvarez confidently raised his arms seconds after touchdown the shot, assured that he had crushed his opponent’s eye socket and talent to proceed.
I had it even after eight rounds with @bjsaunders_ having received the 1, 4, 5, & sixth rounds and @Canelo having received the two, 3, 7 & eighth rounds. But I by no means doubted the #P4P King & he ended it with a devastating proper higher lower that broke Billy’s face. pic.twitter.com/qZMxPUdSCz
— Vertex Combat Sports (@CombatVertex) May 9, 2021
So it proved as Saunders’ staff deemed him unable to come out for the ninth spherical, as he was rushed to hospital with a suspected damaged eye socket whereas Alvarez added yet one more title to his assortment.
“I think I broke his cheek. The truth is I knew it,” Alvarez mentioned in the ring afterwards.
“It’s something very difficult to explain. I don’t have words, the emotion I feel for all the people who have come out,” the Mexican added in front of the bumper indoor crowd for an event taking place on the Cinco de Mayo holiday weekend in his homeland.
“The motivation they give me to continue on is very difficult to explain.”
Alvarez, 30, was ahead on all three scorecards at the time of the stoppage, with two judges having it 78-74 in favor of the Mexican and one slightly closer at 77-75.
Despite being dominated by the intensity of Alvarez in the early rounds, there was the feeling that Saunders was starting to make some inroads in the middle stages of the fight.
Alvarez, however, never seemed flustered and the telling uppercut which decided the fight was gloriously – and spitefully – executed.
“His eye socket was caved in, he couldn’t see. I didn’t get the response I wanted from him. It’s frustrating really because I felt he was growing into it,” said Saunders’ coach Mark Tibbs afterwards.
Alvarez handed the brash Brit a primary defeat in his 31-fight profession, whereas the Mexican’s solely blemishes in his outstanding 59 fights stay the choice loss to Floyd Mayweather in 2013 and two attracts – considered one of which got here towards Kazakh star Gennady Golovkin in 2017.
That was the final time Alvarez failed to style victory contained in the ring, and attentions instantly turned to capturing the one tremendous middleweight title not in his grasp – the IBF belt held by American Caleb Plant.
Alvarez mentioned that was the fight which made sense subsequent, ominously warning Plant “I’m coming my friend.”
For Saunders, 31, and his entourage – together with world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury – it was a bitter finish to an evening which had been preceded by goading phrases from the Brit and his staff in direction of their Mexican rivals, in addition to accusations of disrespect to members of the international press.
Many had speculated that Saunders’ southpaw stance may provide a puzzle to actually tax Alvarez, though in the tip the Mexican discovered the reply in the type of a ferocious and perfectly-timed shot – as he so typically does.
The on-line response hailed the Mexican – with some claiming Saunders acquired his medication after the insult-laden build-up to the fight.
That’s why you don’t talk trash to Canelo. Saunders busted up and compelled to quit #CaneloSaunders
— Ben Damon (@ben_damon) May 9, 2021
Others famous the damaging simplicity with which Alvarez goes about his enterprise as he added one other trinket to his rising record of accolades throughout 4 weight lessons.
Let’s put issues in perspective. Rounds that have been shut was’t as a result of they have been aggressive. It was extra of Canelo setting Sanders up. It’s a 12rd fight you may’t put your foot on the fuel each spherical. Sometimes you might have to cruise to discover your openings. Canelo made it look straightforward.
— Gabriel Rosado 🇵🇷 (@KingGabRosado) May 9, 2021