Canelo Alvarez weighed in at 167.4 pounds at Friday’s weigh-in for his super middleweight unification match against WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) weighed in at 167.8 lbs.
Both guys looked in superb shape for the clash. Of the two, Saunders appeared a little weight drained, which isn’t surprising because he looked chubby months before the fight was made. He’d eaten obviously during the pandemic
Canelo (55-1-2, 37 KOs) will be looking to add Saunders’ WBO 168-lb title to his collection of WBA, WBC, and Ring Magazine straps. The Mexican star is hoping to snatch Saunders’
The face-off was very intense with Saunders staring at Canelo without averting his gaze and jawing at him. Saunders is trying to upset Canelo to anger him enough to where he’ll fight in a wild manner on Saturday, as that would give him a chance to outbox him the way he did against David Lemieux in 2017.
Earlier this week, Saunder threatened to pull out of the fight unless the ring size was increased from 20 to 22. It wasn’t a big deal, but Saunders made it into one, particularly with his decision not to give interviews or meet with Canelo for the first face-to-face at the AT&T Stadium.
Once it was clear that Saunders was going to sulk and not participate in promoting the event, Matchroom Boxing Promoter asked Canelo to give Saunders his wish to have the ring size increased to 22 feet.
Canelo told DAZN that he would give Saunders a 30-foot ring or the entire size of the AT&T Stadium if that’s what he feels he needs.
The way that Canelo said that it was clear that he has nothing but contempt for the weakness in Saunders. Obviously, Canelo would never stoop to the level where he threatens to pull out of a fight if he wasn’t given a giant ring to run from his opponent. This was all Canelo’s doing.
He’s the one that wanted to fight Saunders because of his WBO belt that he wants to add to his collection. If Canelo didn’t care about Saunders’ strap, he could ignore him and focus on fighting the guys that the boxing world wants to see him fight.
Saunders isn’t one of them. The fans want to see Canelo face David Benavidez, Caleb Plant, Edgar Berlanga, David Morrell, Gennady Golovkin, Demetrius Andrade, Carlos Gongora, Dimitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev.
“Ultimately, it’s 95% in the ring that will happen,” said Carl Froch to Fighthype about Saunders’ mind games only playing a minor role for the fight with Canelo.
“If Canelo is angry and fighting reckless, he might let a few shots off and open some gaps and that’ll be an opportunity for Billy Joe to score from the outside.
“He might get inside his head and he might do that. I doubt it. Canelo is a consummate professional with 50 fights. He’s been doing this since he was 15-years-old.
“He hasn’t lost since Floyd Mayweather, and fought close with GGG. GGG hit him with some big shots.
“He’s an exceptional talent, he can have a good scrap, he’s got a good chin, and he’s strong physically. Canelo Alvarez is the ultimate fighting machine, he’s top-notch, and get him careless. and then try to outbox him.
“Similar to how Tyson Fury did to Klitschko in their fight. He might try to pull that off, and I think that might be his only chance. I’d like to think that he can. I want Billy Joe Saunders to win, make no mistake.
“Alvarez is a special talent with what he’s achieved in his boxing career. I look at his career with envy, it’s just amazing.
“He’s fought everyone, Cotto, Mayweather, Golovkin, he’s fought everybody,” Froch said about Canelo. “Billy Joe Saunders hasn’t got a chin, but I think his movement, and he’s naturally bigger,” said Froch.