Fighters from the boxing and MMA worlds react to Canelo Alvarez defeating Billy Joe Saunders
Canelo Alvarez now holds three of the four alphabet boxing organization championships at 168 pounds, while Billy Joe Saunders is undefeated no more. Alvarez defeated Saunders via TKO (corner stoppage) at the end of the eighth round to win the WBO super middleweight championships, while also retaining the WBA and WBC super middleweight titles.
The two have been long rumored to fight for a few years now, going back to both men’s days as champions at middleweight.
Arguably the pound-for-pound best fighter in boxing, Alvarez defeated Callum Smith in December to win the WBA (Super) and then-vacant WBC super middleweight championships. Alvarez, who had won the WBA (Regular) title by finishing Rocky Fielding in December 2018, retained his titles with a quick, third-round finish of Avni Yildirim in February.
Saunders defeated Shefat Isufi in May 2019 to win the then-vacant WBO super middleweight title. He had since retained the title with an 11th-round knockout of Marcelo Esteban Coceres in November 2019 (on the KSI-Logan Paul 2 undercard) and with a unanimous decision over Martin Murray in December 2020.
Fellow fighters react to Canelo Alvarez TKOing Billy Joe Saunders in super middleweight title unification boxing match
Saunders had the better opening frame in a quiet round one to start the bout, but Alvarez began to work over his body over the next couple of rounds.
Alvarez connected with a noteworthy, hard uppercut in round four as he continued to work on the body of Saunders. But Saunders managed to box well as the middle rounds started, as he started to get busier, find his groove and land some crisp shots.
After tightly-contested sixth and seventh rounds, Alvarez managed to land a rally of big shots in the eighth round, swelling up Saunders’ eye and putting him in big trouble. Saunders survived the round, but the swelling was so bad that Saunders’ team pulled from the fight, giving Alvarez the win and three belts.
See how fighters reacted to Alvarez’s victory:
Following the fight, Alvarez stated he would actively look to fight Caleb Plant in September to become the undisputed champion at 168 pounds.