By: Hans Themistode
The moment Canelo Alvarez announced his move to the super middleweight division, he all along intended on becoming an undisputed belt holder. Now, he’ll apparently move one step closer in just a few short months.
As first reported by The Athletic, both Alvarez and WBO titlist Billy Joe Saunders have officially agreed to face one another on either May 1st or May 8th in the United States. Their deal, of course, is predicated on Alvarez’s ability to take care of business in his next ring appearance.
Roughly one month from today, Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) is scheduled to take on mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim on February 27th, at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida. Although the Turkish native is a respected contender in the division, the overwhelming thought process surrounding their showdown is that Alvarez will simply walk right through him.
Should he do just that, Saunders will look to avoid the fate of his fellow countrymen in Callum Smith and his poor performance against Alvarez just one month ago.
On a cold December night at the Alamodome in San Antonio Texas, Alvarez systemically broke Smith down over the course of 12 rounds. The win for the Mexican star not only blemished the previously undefeated record of Smith but it also allowed Alvarez to lace his waist with the WBA, WBC and Ring magazine super middleweight titles.
As for Saunders, he has long called for a shot at the pound-for-pound star. Before reports surfaced of his dream contest coming to fruition, Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) seemingly lost his chance at facing Alvarez several months ago as he was suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control due to a video which depicted Saunders punching a heavy bag while telling viewers that this is how you should hit your wife when she gets on your nerves during quarantine. Since then, Saunders has donated money and has vowed to be a better man.
Besides his transgressions outside the ring, Saunders proved that he was still difficult to deal with inside of it as he handed former multiple-time title challenger Martin Murray a lopsided loss in early December.
Before Saunders officially came to terms with Alvarez on a fight deal, the two-division world champion believed he was leading the way for a possible showdown. In an attempt to be as prepared as possible, Saunders expressed a desire to return to the ring against WBO middleweight titlist Demetrius Andrade with the winner of their showdown moving on to face Alvarez.
While it’s unclear if Saunders will in fact face Andrade before taking on Alvarez, the British product has finally landed the fight he craved most.