Canelo Alvarez has one more mountain left to climb for total supremacy in the super middleweight division. He used his power to beat back a spirited challenge from Billy Joe Saunders, stopping him after the eighth round when Saunders’ right eye was swollen.
Promoter Eddie Hearn said that trainer Mark Tibbs made the decision to halt the fight after the eighth, with Alvarez up on the cards 78-74 twice and 77-75. Yahoo Sports had it 78-74 for Alvarez. Saunders was taken to a local hospital for X-rays, with a concern he’d broken his orbital bone.
Alvarez avoided a Saunders’ right in the eighth and countered with a right uppercut to the right eye of Saunders. Alvarez had dropped to a knee and got a lot of torque into his punch and it snapped Saunders’ head back.
Alvarez’s power was clearly the difference in the fight. Saunders was having success when he was doubling up on his jab, but it rarely deterred Alvarez.
He worked Saunders’ body hard early and then began landing to the head as the fight wore on.
Saunders had his moments, but Alvarez wasn’t particularly concerned.
“It was not as difficult as I expected,” Alvarez said in the ring after drawing a U.S. indoor record crowd for boxing of 73,126 to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Alvarez said he felt he “was winning round by round. As I told you, my fight develop after the sixth or seventh round. I was getting adjusted real quick.
Canelo calls out Caleb Plant
Alvarez is seeking to become the first Mexican-born fighter to hold all four major belts and said he wanted to face IBF champion Caleb Plant next, likely in September. Whether that fight will be able to be made is problematic, but Alvarez staked his claim on Saturday.
He said he wasn’t surprised the fight continued because “I think I broke his face.”
Hearn said no other fight made sense for Alvarez other than Plant.
“It’s the only fight,” Hearn said. “I hope Caleb Plant feels the same way.”
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