ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS pic.twitter.com/zeo8S4A4VC
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) May 9, 2021
It all concluded in the eighth round at AT&T Stadium on Saturday night before a record-breaking crowd. Canelo applied pressure on a game Billy Joe Saunders, inflicting enough damage to Saunders’s eye that the ref stopped the fight between the eighth and ninth rounds.
Saunders’ right eye had swollen shut, and with Saunders still on the stool. Unfortunately for Saunders, the injury might be career-ending.
CANELO ALVAREZ BEATS BILLY JOE SAUNDERS VIA TKO 😤
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 9, 2021
According to his promoter, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, Saunders, who lost his WBO belt in his first professional defeat, was taken directly into an ambulance and was diagnosed with a quadripod fracture. Essentially, Canelo smashed Saunders’ orbital bone so severely that his cheekbone area caved in.
Saunders reportedly had surgery on Sunday, and recovery should take several months. However, the integrity of Saunders’ cheekbone area is structurally compromised since it is broken in 4 places.
Now Alvarez (55-1-2, 38 KOs) holds three of the four belts in the 168-pound division. He immediately made it known that his next target is current IBF super-middleweight champion Caleb Plant.
“I knew this would be final outcome,” said Alvarez in his postfight interview. “I knew it. I think I broke his cheek and knew he wasn’t coming out of the corner. I told Eddy [Reynoso] he wasn’t coming out because I broke his cheek. I knew it was it.”
🗣 Canelo Alvarez on knocking out Billy Joe Saunders: “The truth is, I knew it. I broke his cheek. I went to my corner and said: 'He won't come back out'."#Canelo #CanelovsSaunders pic.twitter.com/C6xkNdr5Ga
— bliss (@blissmediacomms) May 9, 2021
With 73,126 was announced in attendance at the Dallas Cowboys home, the fight broke the record of the largest indoor attendance for a boxing event in the United States.
The previous benchmark was 63,350, held by Muhammad Al vs. Leon Spinks 2 in 1978.
The crowd for Alvarez-Saunders is also the biggest gathering in the United States since the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were put in place.
Billy Joe Saunders and Canelo Alvarez fight how it started vs. how it ended pic.twitter.com/xWiozkkUkI
— UptownDCRich_Sports (@UptownDCRich_) May 9, 2021
During the postfight press conference, Alvarez verbally eviscerated current WBO middleweight champion, Demetrius “Boo-Boo” Andrade, who interrupted Canelo answering questions to try to set up a fight.
“So when can we get something going on? Let’s make it happen,” Boo-Boo said. “What’s up, Canelo? Congratulations today though, good job baby, good job. I’m a big fan … but what’s up though? When can we make it happen? What you think?”
Alvarez repeatedly said, "Get the f— out of here, you’ve fought nobody."
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) May 9, 2021
Then Canelo canceled him notoriously.
“Man, you fight with nobody. You are a champion, but you fight with nobody,” Alvarez responded. “You won the belt with nobody.
“Get the f–k out of here, man. Please, get the f–k out of here. It’s my night.”
When Andrade (30-0) told him to watch his mouth, Alvarez continued cursing at him and calling him a “horrible fighter.”
“Hey, get the f–k out of here because I’m gonna f–k you up right now motherf–ker. Hey, get the f–k out of here,” Alvarez said.
As the Canelo train continues to steamroll overall, everybody wants a shot at the Mexican star, but he is strategic in his selections, and it is all working well.