Saul “Canelo” Alvarez put on another masterful performance Saturday night in front of a massive crowd of 73,126 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas. Not only did he beat Billy Joe Saunders in convincing fashion across rounds, he hit Saunders with a beautiful uppercut that swelled the Brit’s eye shut and likely shattered his orbital bone. That led to Saunders’ corner calling off the fight between the 8th and 9th rounds (watch the highlights here).
“He’s a young man,” said Saunders’ cornerman Mark Tibbs, explaining his decision to throw in the towel. “He’s got a family. He’s got children. I’ve known him a very, very long time. He lives to fight another day.”
Up next for Alvarez? Most likely IBF belt holder Caleb Plant, the only man left holding a super middleweight strap that isn’t named Canelo. Up next for Saunders: likely surgery.
According to boxing reporter Dan Rafael, Saunders stayed overnight in the hospital due to the facial injuries sustained in the fight, and surgery might be required to fix the damage.
There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding Saunders ending the fight on the stool, but it was no surprise to Canelo Alvarez, who was pretty sure he ended the fight when the felt his opponent’s face buckle under his punch.
Agree Tash, his cheek looks a different shape and looks a bad injury. Good corner stopping it. Felt BJS was doing better when holding the centre hands low but Canelo drains you, made him work hard and was taking over. Good fight! https://t.co/C0nOrEQ1NB— Paul Smith (@PaulSmithJnr) May 9, 2021
“I saw when he broke his cheekbone,” Alvarez said after the fight. “And I went back to the corner and told my trainer Eddie ‘I didn’t think he could continue’ because when you break a cheekbone, you risk your life and you can’t continue that way.”
Update: Promoter Eddie Hearn just updated us on Saunders’ condition, saying he’ll go into surgery to fix ‘multiple fractures to orbital area.’