By: Sean Crose
Boxing is dead. You hear it again. And again. And again. And while it certainly doesn’t seem to be in its healthiest state (such things happen when big names rarely face off), boxing appears to be far from deceased, or even mortally wounded. One need only turn towards AT&T Stadium outside Dallas to get a dose of reality. For pre sale (that’s pre-sale) tickets for the Canelo Alvarez-Billy Joe Saunders super middleweight title throwdown broke a record after reaching 40 thousand buys. That’s about 2 times a sell out crowd in Vegas or Madison Square Garden. One can only imagine what the final number of tickets sold will be by the time the May 8th fight rolls around.
“The pre-sale numbers were fantastic,” said promoter Eddie Hearn, “and I am sure that on Cinco de Mayo weekend, we’re going to have a full house to watch this massive unification fight.” The fact that the fight is going down at the home of the legendary Dallas Cowboys NFL team is also significant to Hearn. ” “It’s great to be able to stage a fight of such huge global significance to the home of the Dallas Cowboys,” he said, “and fill that wonderful stadium with fans. We’re going to be putting on a night that those lucky enough to be in there will never forget.”
The 30-0 Saunders is nothing if not legitimate competition for the 55-1-2 Canelo. Arguably the most popular draw in the sport, Canelo has decided to do what many top fighters don’t, and that’s fight on a regular basis. That means sometimes the opposition will be less than stellar. That won’t be the case with Saunders, however. He may be the underdog here, but at his best, the Englishman is extremely slick and skillful. Canelo-Saunders, simply put, is one of the better matches out there.
Canelo last fought back in February when he bested the way over his head Avni Yildirim in three rounds. Yildirim was a ranked contender, but he was clearly no match for the red haired superstar, who many rank as the current top pound for pound fighter on earth. As for Saunders, he was last seen in the ring in December when he decisioned longtime vet Martin Murray at Wembley Arena. The Canelo-Saunders fight will be aired live by DAZN. The WBC, WBO, and WBA super middleweight titles will all be at stake, to say nothing of the future of the division.