Sport Canelo Alvarez beats Billy Joe Saunders via TKO
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Canelo Alvarez has beaten Billy Joe Saunders by TKO, forcing the British southpaw into submission after a brutal flurry in the eighth round at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas.
In front of a crowd of 73,000, Canelo started well and overcame a Saunders fightback through the middle rounds, before closing BJS's right eye in a damaging eighth round.
Saunders was unable to answer the bell for the ninth, with his corner calling an end to the bout due to the damage to his right eye.
The win sees Canelo add Saunders' WBO super-middleweight belt to the WBC, WBA and Ring titles he already held.
"The truth is, I knew it. I think I broke his cheek and I knew he wouldn't come out," Canelo said of the stoppage.
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The pound for pound king is back.The fight will see the Mexican superstar put his WBC, WBA (Super) and Ring super middleweight belts on the line, while Saunders' WBO strap is also up for grabs.
"I told Eddie 'he's not coming out because I broke his cheek' and that's what happened.
"The fight was going to develop into the seventh and eighth round, but it was not as difficult as I thought it was going to be.
"It was my preparation, and I just developed day by day."
Canelo will now focus on winning the only super middleweight belt he doesn't yet own by taking on IBF champion Caleb Plant later in the year.
"That's the plan. That's the plan, to go for the belt," he said of a fight with Plant.
"I'm coming, man. I'm coming my friend."
Southpaw Saunders jabbed early, but Canelo's head movement and distance kept him out of danger in the first minute. Canelo's first real shot was a left hook to the body, and it wasn't long before he had Saunders backing away.
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JEFF POWELL IN DALLAS: Billy Joe Saunders' father Tommy has said that the biggest fight of his son's life is now off as Canelo Alvarez and his team have refused to agree to a larger ring.Saunders, whose main hope of defeating the world's best boxer in their world middleweight title unification fight is to maximise his elusiveness, has been demanding a ring much bigger than the 18 feet which is standard in Texas.
The Brit had clearly felt Canelo's power.
Canelo landed two big right hands down the pipe in the second round. Saunders wore a few shots but wasn't moving as well as we've seen in the past, and was tagged every time he got in close.
Canelo made a more concerted effort to walk forward in the third round, forcing Saunders to bite on feints and get on his bike to remain out of danger.
Canelo is making Saunders work ????
(via— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) )
The fourth was more of the same, with Canelo throwing a full array of power shots. Left hooks to the head and body, jabs, straight rights and uppercuts all landed as Saunders became more and more concerned with the Mexican's power.
Momentum changed in Saunders' favour in the fifth, which was the Brit's best round of the bout to that point. He landed a nice double jab and a big straight left as he began moving well and looking more confident.
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Saunders had more good moments in the sixth, with a mark appearing under Canelo's right eye. A close round, Canelo finished well, landed in close, but it was Saunders who had the better of most of the action.
The fight was fought at Saunders' rhythm in seventh as Canelo's output dipped and he began missing more and more big shots.
The start of the end came with a counter right midway through the eighth. Saunders was rattled and held on against the ropes as the 73,000 strong crowd rose to its feet.
Saunders' right eye was swollen closed as Canelo showboated and landed power shots almost at will until the bell.
Saunders survived until the bell, but the fight was stopped before the start of the ninth.
Que lenda!— Matheus Shinoda (@matheus_shinoda)
Saunders left the ring immediately after the decision was confirmed, but Hearn confirmed the Briton's injury.
"He couldn't see and he (Saunders' trainer) wouldn't let him go out," Hearn said.
"I thought Billy boxed beautifully, but Canelo's so strong. He took his time. Billy's so tricky, but he busted his eye socket and Canelo coming on strong in the back end of the fight is too good."
???? Winning shot from Canelo
????— BOXRAW (@BOXRAW)
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