The upcoming boxing match between Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders will go down in front of one of the biggest crowds of the COVID-19 pandemic era.
Canelo and Saunders will collide inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on May 8, with the WBO, WBA, WBC, and The Ring super middleweight titles on the line. Like all Canelo fights, the bout figures to be watched by millions of people worldwide. Yet the stadium will also be packed to the rafters with as many as 70,000 fans, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.
“This one is special,” Hearn wrote on Twitter recently. “70,000 fans [on] Cinco De Mayo weekend!”
Canelo is considered one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in boxing today. The Mexican talent is a phenomenal 55–1–2 overall, with wins over the likes of Daniel Jacobs, Gennadiy Golovkin, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto, James Kirkland, Austin Trout and Shane Mosely, and his lone loss coming at the hands of unbeaten boxing legend Floyd Mayweather.
In Saunders, Canelo will be an unheralded but dangerous underdog. The Brit boasts an unblemished record of 30-0, highlighted by triumphs over David Lemieux, Willie Monroe Jr., Chris Eubanks Jr. and John Ryder. Saunders is known for his solid defense, but Canelo has assured he’s ready for the Brit’s style.
“When I fight, I’m ready for any style,” Canelo told ESPN Deportes recently. “If you want to go out there and move, if you want to go out and do whatever you want, I am ready for that.
“I am aware that it is going to be a difficult fight, because he’s a left-hander, because of the style he has, but it is a matter of having patience,” Canelo added. “You have to be patient, there are fighters with whom you have to be patient with. At that time (when I lost against Floyd Mayweather in 2013) I did not have the experience of today. I have the experience of being patient, looking for the moment, winning round by round, without needing to get desperate and wanting to get a knock out, I think it’s totally different now.
Fans in the building for Canelo’s fight with Saunders will be encouraged to wear masks. Those who are interested in tuning in remotely can do so through the streaming service DAZN.