By: Sean Crose
“Over 20,000 tickets were sold on a record-breaking day one of the limited pre-sale for the blockbuster unification showdown between Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders on Saturday May 8 at AT&T stadium in Arlington, TX.” So stated Matchroom Boxing on Tuesday. And so, in a very real sense, the highly anticipated Canelo-Saunders card this spring is already a success. Within a single day, enough tickets were sold for the event to essentially sell out Madison Square Garden. The decision to have the card go down in an enormous stadium like AT&T in Dallas has proven, financially at least, to be a wise one.
“Today we have seen record breaking numbers for what promises to be a huge celebration on Cinco De Mayo weekend,” Matchroom honcho Eddie Hearn is quoted as saying. “Canelo fighting on Cinco De Mayo has become a staple of the boxing calendar, and I am honored to be promoting this captivating fight at the home of the Dallas Cowboys.” Hearn expects tickets to keep moving at a fast pace.
“With one more day of pre-sale to go before the tickets go on general sale on Thursday morning,” says Hearn, “I am confident that we’re going to have a full house in the Lone Star state for one of the most important fights of 2021.” The press release states that “the Mexican superstar (Canelo)is aiming to take a massive step to becoming the first 168lb undisputed champion from his homeland.”
Yet the 30-0 Saunders is a serious foe for the 55-1-2 Canelo to face. A slick boxer by any standard, the Englishman has bested the likes of Andy Lee, David Lemieux, and Martin Murray. He may not have faced such nemesis as Floyd Mayweather, Gennady Golovkin, and Sergey Kovalev, as Canelo has, but few analysts will argue Saunders isn’t at or close to the level of a world class fighter.
Canelo has emerged as the bright light in a precarious time for the sport he makes his living in. While many well known fighters step into the ring infrequently at most, the red haired star has made it a point to fight regularly, often against top competition such as Saunders. Operating in a division filled with such names as David Benavidez, and Caleb Plant, the 30 year old Canelo will have plenty of competition to keep himself busy with in the months and years ahead – provided, of course, that he can get by Saunders this May.
There are no guarantees in the fight game, after all.