We have made our predictions for Canelo Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders, which goes down live on DAZN on Saturday from Arlington, Texas. Unsurprisingly, even though Saunders is undefeated and a really good boxer, everyone believes Canelo will be the one who ends the night with the WBC, WBO, and IBF super-middleweight titles in his possession. No one, however, believes Canelo will stop Saunders.
This post has a mixture of our staff picks plus the predictions from Bad Left Hook.
Mookie Alexander: Saunders likes to move around a lot and he’s gotten his 22-foot ring to do just that. But it’s just hard to see a path to victory for him. This is a big fight so I expect him to perform better than some of his more ridiculous showings against lower-level opposition, but Saunders doesn’t really have the power to discourage Canelo from coming forward and Alvarez has gotten significantly better at walking opponents down and effectively pressuring them. His jab is lethal and that hook to the body may really take a lot out of Billy Joe as the fight progresses. The only thing I fear is that this fight will be a bit tactical (read: dull) and that Canelo is going to have some early trouble getting reads on Saunders and his defensive-minded approach. But once he does get into a rhythm he should pull away on the scorecards late. Canelo Alvarez by unanimous decision.
Lucas Bourdon: It’s been a while since Canelo faced a southpaw and the Lara and Trout fights weren’t his easiest ones. But he still won them and is a better fighter than he was at 23 (I’m also not convinced that Saunders is as good as Lara). It might not be as dominant a performance as Canelo’s had lately due to the open stance match up but he should still take a comfortable decision. Canelo Alvarez by unanimous decision.
Tim Burke: It’s hard to add to what’s above. The Lara and Trout points are the blueprints for Saunders, but I think after he gets cracked a few times, he’s going to be even further away than he normally is. He’s very durable so I’d be surprised (and elated) if Canelo can put him away. But my money is on a unanimous decision, in the 118-110 range. And it won’t be very exciting. Canelo Alvarez by unanimous decision.
Scott Christ (from Bad Left Hook): Expect Saunders to pick and peck, move, play defense, and he’s never going to be in any real trouble. But he’s not going to win. He doesn’t have the layers to his game that are needed, particularly power for Canelo to seriously respect. Not only isn’t Saunders a big puncher, but Alvarez takes a great shot anyway. It’s Canelo on the cards all day here, it could be 11-1 or 7-5, but it’s going to be his fight. Canelo UD-12
Wil Esco (from Bad Left Hook): I truly do think Saunders will pose some real difficulty for Canelo because he’s a slick fighter who thinks defense first, and that alone is going to make it hard for Canelo to land consistently in the early going. In fact, I half-expect this fight to be pretty dull for the first half with little sustained action by way of punches landed. If Saunders starts to fade in the second half that’s going to be a real problem though, because Canelo has the boxing ability to match Saunders and will inflict serious damage with his power punches. I want to believe Saunders will be fully up for this fight and has prepared himself physically, and if so I think he’s good enough to avoid getting knocked out if that’s what it comes down to. Either way, I really don’t see a scenario where he outpoints Canelo on the cards and I definitely don’t think he can stop Canelo. Canelo UD-12
Patrick L. Stumberg (from Bad Left Hook): I just don’t see what Saunders does here. If he tries to play keep-away, Canelo’s ring cutting and body assault will ensure that he lands the more damaging and eye-catching blows. If Saunders tries to force him onto the back foot, Canelo’s a strong enough counter-puncher to recreate Coceres’ successful efforts on that front. There’s not even the inkling of a puncher’s chance; I’ve seen some wild shit during my years as a combat sports fan, but Billy Joe Saunders icing the functionally indestructible Alvarez would put all of it to shame. Saunders hasn’t given me reason to doubt his durability, at least, so perhaps he’ll enjoy the moral victory of lasting the distance. Canelo UD-12
Staff picking Canelo: Mookie, Lucas, Dayne, Tim, Stephie
Staff picking Saunders:
Staff picking draw:
This poll is closed
Billy Joe Saunders