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SPORTS SHORTS 125: SAUL CANELO ALVAREZ (167.4 LBS.) AND BILLY JOE SAUNDERS (167.8 LBS.) READY TO RUMBLE


PhilBoxing.com





Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KOs) who will defend his WBC and WBA super middleweight titles, and during the official weigh-in coming in at 167.4 lbs., with WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) at 167.8 lbs. as both tipped in the scales under the 168 lb. limit.

* * *

There was tension in the staredown between the two protagonists, but there were no pushing and shoving or dramatics. And both guys looked in good shape and condition and ready to rumble.

* * *

After Canelo Alvarez retained his WBC, WBA and Ring Magazine super middleweight belts against Avni Yildirim via third-round TKO in front of 15,000 socially distanced fans at Miami's Hard Rock Stadium, the unification was announced with Billy Joe Saunders who will also stake his WBO title.

* * *

Saunders, age 31 years of Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England fights for a chance to become only the second boxer after Floyd Mayweather to defeat Canelo.

* * *

Canelo Alvarez, age 30 years of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, turned professional at just 15 years old in his homeland Mexico in October 29, 2005 with a TKO win over compatriot Abraham Gonzalez.

* * *

But he made his US debut 23 fights and three years later winning against Larry Mosley of California by unanimous decision on October 24, 2008.

* * *

Six years after his first pro bout, Canelo won the vacant WBC light middleweight title beating Ricky Hatton's brother Matthew of Stockport, Greater Manchester, England by unanimous decision on March 5, 2011.

* * *

He won also the WBA light middleweight championship in April 20, 2013 against Austin Trout of Las Cruces, New Mexico, U.S., which propelled him for a blockbuster pay-per-view fight with Mayweather.

* * *

But the young Canelo, who was only 23 years old that time, was humbled by the seasoned Mayweather for 12 rounds. CompuBox stats showed Mayweather landed 232 of 505 punches (46%) while Álvarez connected on 117 of 526 thrown (22%). Mayweather earned $41.5 million to Canelo's $5 million.

* * *

After the only loss, Alvarez won one more title, the WBO light middleweight belt against Liam Smith of Liverpool, Merseyside, England.

* * *

Then Canelo moved up to middleweight to face Gennady Golovkin of Karaganda, Kazakhstan for the unified WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, IBO, Ring magazine, and lineal middleweight championship on September 16, 2017, at T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip.

* * *

Golovkin outlanded Alvarez in 10 of the 12 rounds according to Compubox, but the fight ended in a controversial split draw, with Dave Moretti scoring it 115–113 for Golovkin, Adalaide Byrd had it 118–110 for Álvarez, and Don Trella saw it 114–114.

* * *

The rematch took place at T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada on September 15, 2018. A sell out crowd of 21,965 saw the fight. It was again controversial as Álvarez defeated Golovkin via majority decision. Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld, both scoring the bout 115-113 for Canelo, while Glenn Fieldman scored it 114-114.

* * *

Canelo moved up to super middleweight, winning the WBA Regular title against Rocky Fielding of Liverpool, Merseyside, England, before defending his middleweight crown against Danny Jacobs of Brooklyn, New York City.

* * *

Canelo in November 2, 2019 moved up to light heavyweight and won by 11th round KO over Sergey Kovalev of Kopeysk, Russia for the WBO title.

* * *

To make himself a real four-division world champion, Alvarez challenged Callum Smith of Liverpool, Merseyside, England for the WBA title December of last year, winning by unanimous decision.

* * *

Canelo knocked out Avni Yildirim of Sivas, Turkey who quit after the third round, to set up a unification fight against Billy Joe Saunders.

* * *

WBO champion Saunders heads into the lion's den when he faces Alvarez in front of a highly partisan crowd at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The British fighter won against countryman Martin Murray by unanimous decision in December 4 last year.

* * *

Billy Joe Saunders said: "[Beating Canelo] would mean the world to me. I started in boxing aged five and now this is the pinnacle. This fight is legacy because of what's on the line. My history is already written in my head and I just have to follow the script."

* * *

"Me doing what I do best, giving everything I've got, will be history in itself. Canelo has been on my radar since I turned pro. Now is my time to shine," added Saunders.

* * *

Canelo Alvarez said: "I know what Billy Joe brings. He’s a fast fighter that moves a lot. He’s a difficult opponent. But at this level, I have to adapt to any style, and I’m ready to make history and for any style."

* * *

"I’m always ready to fight, and boxing is my life. And I’m very happy to be so active. I’m going to win without a doubt. I’m here training at 100 per cent. I came to win, I came to make history, and that’s the only thing going through my head," added Canelo.

* * *

Pascual Pérez of Argentina won the London Olympic gold medal in the flyweight class. He became professional world champion winning the undisputed flyweight title (1954-1960).

* * *

Leo Randolph of USA won the 1976 Montreal Olympic gold medal in the flyweight class. He became professional world champion winning the WBA super bantamweight title in 1980.

* * *

Remy Martin, age 22 years, a Filipino-American college basketball player officially declared for the 2021 NBA Draft after spending four years with the Arizona State Sun Devils of the Pac-12 Conference. Martin, as a senior, led the Sun Devils in scoring 19.1 points on 43.3 % shooting from the field and 34.6% from 3-point range.

* * *

Martin's parents, Sam Martin is African-American and Mary Anne Macaspac, is from Pampanga and then migrated to the United States during her high school days. Martin holds Filipino-American dual citizenship.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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