Canelo Alvarez defeats Billy Joe Saunders, who was forced to withdraw due to an orbital bone injury.
With an eight-round TKO victory over Billy Joe Saunders, Canelo Alvarez unified the super-middleweight category.
After Billy Joe Saunders was forced to retire on his stool with a probable broken orbital bone, Canelo Alvarez came a step closer to being the undisputed ruler of the super-middleweight division. When Saunders’ trainer Mark Tibbs waved the fight off in the corner after the right round, there were echoes of Kell Brook’s serious eye injuries from his fights with Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr.
Up until the pivotal point, Saunders had done his part in a closely contested chess match and was perhaps ahead on the scorecards when Canelo turned on the style and pushed hard for the knockout that his team and the Mexican public so sorely desired.
The fight was turned around by a devastating uppercut as Saunders limped around the ring, preparing for an onslaught that never came as the matador Canelo teased his opponent, flailing his arms around and reveling in his opponent’s pain.
Despite Canelo’s relentless bodywork, it was that one blow that drained all the energy out of Saunders, who struggled to gather momentum and throw any punches of his own as he bobbed and weaved to buy some time.
The damage to Saunders’ eye was visible as soon as the camera cut to his corner, indicating that this battle would not go the distance.
The fight was stopped seconds later when Canelo leaped onto his trainer Eddy Reynoso’s shoulders to celebrate yet another Cinco de Mayo triumph in front of a sell-out crowd at the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium.
Now, all eyes will be on Caleb Plant as the pound-for-pound king attempts to win the final IBF strap and become the first-ever undisputed champion at 168 pounds, having successfully mastered the mind games and amazing skill of Saunders.
This was a fight that demonstrated Saunders belongs at the highest level, but as always, concerns about his champion spirit will be raised after he was pulled out of the fight, especially considering he previously stated he would not retire after suffering a similar eye injury against Joe Joyce last November.
“Brinkwire Summary News” was where Saunders took the fight.