ARLINGTON, Texas – Billy Joe Saunders has expressed respect toward Canelo Alvarez and everything he has accomplished in boxing throughout the promotion of their fight Saturday night.
That respect only goes so far, Saunders says, because the British southpaw realizes the boxer many consider the best, pound-for-pound, in the sport is far from unbeatable. According to Saunders, he has seen the Mexican legend lose at least three times, maybe four, during his ascent to superstardom.
The 30-year-old Alvarez has officially lost only once, to undefeated five-division champion Floyd Mayweather in September 2013. Alvarez was just 23 when the legendary Mayweather, then boxing’s pound-for-pound king, soundly defeated him in their 12-round junior middleweight match at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Saunders presumably meant Alvarez’s controversial, 12-round split draw with Gennadiy Golovkin in September 2017 and his questionable, 12-round, split-decision victory over another southpaw, Erislandy Lara, in July 2014 when he said Wednesday during his satellite media tour that Alvarez has been beaten at least three times. Regardless, the 31-year-old Saunders is confident he’ll become just the second opponent to officially beat Alvarez when they square off in a 12-round, 168-pound title unification fight at AT&T Stadium, where a crowd of nearly 70,000 is expected at the home of the Dallas Cowboys.
Handicappers have made Alvarez a 7-1 favorite in advance of this DAZN main event, but Saunders is unfazed.
“Bookies don’t win or lose fights,” Saunders said. “Fighters get in there, and they’ve gotta do their job. It doesn’t matter what the bookie says. We’ve seen 100-to-1s come in, we’ve seen favorites get beat before. And it is what it is. He’s not unbeatable. He’s been beat three times, in my opinion, maybe even four. There’s an argument there. … Nobody’s unbeatable – nobody. You can’t look at someone and say, ‘They’re never gonna get beat,’ because boxing’s only one punch away.”
Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KOs), a four-division champion from Guadalajara, Mexico, and Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs), a two-division champion from Manchester, England, will fight for Alvarez’s WBA and WBC super middleweight titles and Saunders’ WBO belt. If Alvarez wins, he intends to pursue a September showdown with unbeaten IBF champ Caleb Plant (21-0, 12 KOs), which would be a full unification fight.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.