Canelo Alvarez stops Billy Joe Saunders in front of record 73,126 fans in Texas
The attendance figure set an all-time record for an indoor boxing event in the United States – breaking the previous record set in 1978 when Muhammad Ali beat Leon Spinks ahead of 63,352 at the Louisiana Superdome – and scored the most large crowd at a sporting event since the pandemic began.
Alvarez dominated the first seven laps, leading on the scorecards of the three judges, before a brutal uppercut in the eighth caused a deep cut under Saunders’ right eye and prevented the Briton from coming out for the ninth round .
Saunders was reportedly taken from the site by ambulance just after the fight to have the extent of his injuries assessed.
“Like I said before, the fight was going to develop in the seventh or eighth round,” Alvarez told broadcaster DAZN. “This is what happened, but it was not as difficult as I expected. This is where I see that my preparation is good and that I am improving day by day.
“The fight I was winning round by round. I told you, my fight would develop after six or seven rounds, but I started to adapt quickly. I knew this round (the eighth) was going to be the last round. I knew I think I broke his cheek and I knew he wasn’t going out. That was it.
Alvarez, widely regarded as one of the best boxers in the world, said “the plan” now was to unify the super middleweight division by claiming the IBF belt held by American Caleb Plant.
– I arrive. I’m coming, my friend, he said.
The hugely popular Mexican fighter delighted what appeared to be a largely Mexican crowd, raising his arms at one point during the fight to encourage the already noisy arena to make more noise.
“It’s hard to explain,” Alvarez said of their support. “I have no words. All the emotions I feel, they give me the motivation to keep going.”