Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez vs Billy Joe Saunders Preview May 8th, 2021
There’s a whole collection of super middleweight belts on the line in Arlington, Texas this Saturday, May, 8 when Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez of Mexico puts up his Ring, WBC and WBA (Super) versions against unbeaten WBO Champion Billy Joe Saunders of England. The 12-round bout can be seen in most nations live on DAZN. Alvarez last fought in February when he stopped on Avni Yildirim in the third round of a mismatch while Saunders last saw action in December when he beat an aging Martin Murray by a wide unanimous decision in a snoozefest.
**Watch live on DAZN this Saturday. Your first month is free.
Alvarez vs Saunders Betting Odds
Here are the betting odds from online sportsbook BetOnline.ag (full review here).
- Billy Joe Saunders +550
- Canelo Alvarez -800
Alvarez won his latest in a merry-go-round of titles in December when he beat Callum Smith by unanimous decision for the vacant WBC Super Middleweight Title and Smith’s WBA belt. Since his two highly-controversial bouts, a win and draw against Gennady Golovkin in 2017 and 2018, he’s beaten the likes of Rocky Fielding, Daniel Jacobs, Sergey Kovalev, Smith and Yildirim while stopping Fielding, Kovalev and Yildirim.
The 30-year-old owns a fine record of 55-1-2 with 37 Kos with his only official loss being a majority decision to Floyd Mayweather in September, 2013. His other draw was a four-round affair against Jorge Juarez back in 2006. Alvarez stands 5-feet-8-inches tall with a 70.5 inch reach. He has a wealth of experience for his age since he turned pro when he was just 15 years old in 2005 and has 417 rounds under his belt since.
He’s taken on and beaten or decisioned some tough opponents over the years such as Smith, Kovalev, Jacobs, Golovkin, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto, James Kirkland, Austin Trout, Erislandy Lara, Shane Mosley, Josesito Lopez, Kermit Cintron, Carlos Baldomir, and Alfredo Angulo. He’s also held world titles in the junior. middleweight, middleweight and and light heavyweight divisions as well as minor belts as a welterweight.
Alvarez has solid power and enters the fight with a current knockout ratio of 63.8 per cent with a granite chin and quick hands but has gone the distance in five of his last eight fights. Also, Golovkin, Mayweather and Khan to some degree, showed that Canelo can be outboxed as he has difficulty handling a quick, stiff jab. Even so, Alvarez is a good boxer-puncher who likes to go to the body but has a bit of difficulty with boxers who are mobile.
The 31-year-old Saunders is a southpaw who enters the bout with a perfect record of 30-0 with 14 Kos. After recently taking on a steady stream of unknowns such as Shefat Isufu and and boxers on the decline such as Martin Murray, he’s finally in the big-money fight he’s always wanted and now has the chance to put up or shut up. Still, he’s a former WBO and Commonwealth Middleweight Champion with mediocre power to go along with good overall boxing skills.
Saunders competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China and has fought 214 rounds since turning pro the same year. His biggest wins have been over Murray, David Lemieux, Andy Lee, Willie Monroe Jr and a 12-round split decision victory over fellow Englishman Chris Eubank Jr in 2014. Other notable opponents include Gary O’Sullivan, Artur Akavov and Jarrod Fletcher so he’s arguably never met an elite contender as of yet.
Saunders stands 5-feet-11-inches tall and has a 71-inch reach which gives him a three-inch height advantage over Alvarez. He’s not known as a KO artist by any stretch of the imagination with his knockout ratio currently standing at 46.7 per cent. Saunders has struggled somewhat lately though against average opponents and has been forced to go the distance in six of his last eight outings. He originally won the vacant WBO Super Middleweight crown via unanimous decision over Isufu in 2019.
Alvarez is considered by many to be the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world and even if you had him losing both fights to Golovkin he’s still one of the best out there. He may lack size, but that’s about it. He does everything well and when he does make a mistake his chin has bailed him out. Other than the wins over Lemieux and Eubank, Saunders’ biggest problem is that he usually fights to the level of his opposition and does just enough to win. Many fans feel Saunders, who like Alvarez tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in the past, is despicable outside of the ring but if he does have anything going for him it’s his boxing skills inside the squared circle. I’m not sure if his southpaw style will give Alvarez problems, but his boxing skills might. This will be interesting while it lasts and Saunders may very well have the skills to pull off a decision but i don’t think he’ll be able to handle Alvarez’s pressure and punching power. It might not be easy, but I’m expecting an Alvarez victory.
This might not be a walk in the park but I’m expecting Alvarez to retain his titles.
Play: Alvarez -800 @ BetOnline.ag
Check out my recent boxing betting picks to see my current form.
Billy Joe Saunders betting • Saul Alvarez betting