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Canelo vs. BJ Saunders: Predictions and Analyses from the TSS Faculty

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  • Canelo vs. BJ Saunders: Predictions and Analyses from the TSS Faculty

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    More than 60,000 fight fans are expected to gather at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, on Saturday. The turnout for the fight between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders represents a turning point in the COVID-19 era. Boxing has been pretty much walled-off to the general public since a sellout crowd of 15,816 witnessed the second encounter between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder on Feb. 20, 2020 in Las Vegas.

    Canelo Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KOs) holds the WBC and WBA world titles at 168 pounds. Billy Joe Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) owns the WBO belt. However, the hardware is largely immaterial whenever Canelo steps in the ring as he is widely considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. In Saunders he is meeting a slick southpaw bidding to become the second member of the Traveling community to hold multiple title belts simultaneously, joining his friend Tyson Fury. The bout headlines a 7-bout card that will air on DAZN in 200+ countries and territories worldwide and on TV Azteca in Mexico.

    Whenever a fight of this magnitude comes down the pike, we invite members of our editorial staff to provide a quick analysis of the match and forecast the outcome. Their prognostications appear below with the respondents listed in alphabetical order.

    The graphic is by Colorado comic book cover artist ROB AYALA, an honored guest whenever we perform this kind of exercise. Check out more of Rob’s cool illustrations at his web site fight posium.


    No gimme for Canelo here, as Saunders is a southpaw who can box, has a bit of pop in his punch, as well as a knack for making his opponents look not quite as impressive as they normally are. Still, Canelo is at the top of the boxing food chain for a reason. It's all right for him to win some fights and not be spectacular in doing so. Figure the Mexican icon on scoring a knockdown or two along the way, but he may have to be satisfied with a win on points this time out. – BERNARD FERNANDEZ

    I no longer pick against Canelo Alvarez. And certainly not against a boxing basket case like Billy Joe Saunders. There’s a huge difference in the level of maturity between these two fighters and that will be seen in the ring when Canelo becomes the first to corner the fleet-footed Saunders and put him on his back. Canelo KO in 10. – JEFFREY FREEMAN

    Canelo by decision. He does everything better than Saunders, who will fight well enough to survive but not win. – THOMAS HAUSER

    Billy Joe is formidable. You don’t lock in an Olympic berth at age 18 without natural talent. You don’t run circles around a big puncher like David Lemieux without a high ring IQ. But Saunders, despite his undefeated record, has been inconsistent. Canelo, as Kevin Iole noted in a recent column, doesn’t do one thing great, but he does everything well. How does one formulate a smart game plan for a boxer with no flaws to exploit? Canelo UD. – ARNE LANG

    Much has been made by Saunders' camp this week about the size of the ring that will be used in the fight. While it seems strange and even unruly that there can be such vast disparities in how large the boxing ring is or how spongy the mat can be for any professional fight card in our sport, the truth of the matter is that Saunders probably doesn't have much hope in beating Alvarez no matter how those other factors play out. They could fight on a basketball court, and I'd still pick Alvarez. The best the cagey UK fighter will be able to muster is trying to go the distance with the Mexican. Callum Smith pulled it off back in December, but Saunders won't quite get there. CANELO via 9th-round stoppage. – KELSEY McCARSON

    There was a time, not that long ago, when I would have favoured Saunders to beat Canelo and stylistically I still feel Saunders holds all the aces. Canelo’s improvements in the last 30 months have astonished, though. He has found a meaningful fourth and fifth punch for his combinations and his strength, for whatever reason, is prestigious at whatever weight he fights. Saunders, something of a persona-non-grata here in his home country after a series of public relations disasters, is very much a man out of time. Canelo, bodyshots, between the eighth and the tenth. – MATT McGRAIN

    There is a case to be made that Canelo Alvarez has not faced a pure boxer on the level of Billy Joe Saunders since his do-si-do with Erislandy Lara in 2014, in a fight that still has some screaming robbery (Alvarez won by split decision). Of course, that was nearly seven years ago, back when Alvarez was still trading on his telenovela bonafides. Since then, he has gone on to distinguish himself as arguably the best boxer in the sport today. The same cannot be said for the erratic and self-sabotaging Saunders, who has squandered his impressive showing against David Lemieux in 2017 with consecutive lackluster outings against mostly middling opposition. The southpaw will find ways to frustrate Alvarez at times, to be sure, but expect Alvarez to slow down the jittery motions of the Brit by punishing him to the body en route to a mostly clear win on the cards. Canelo by majority decision. – SEAN NAM

    I see a feeling-out type fight in the first two rounds and then Canelo begins the stalk. Saunders will be more elusive and more savvy than most of Canelo’s opponents, occasionally getting in some sharp counters. However, he will begin to tire late from an accumulation of Canelo’s body work and from backing up. This will allow the Mexican to increase the tempo looking for a way to close the show. The Traveler will survive. But Canelo will win with a dominating UD. – TED SARES

    Two names come to mind for me when deciding how this fight will play out. First, Erislandy Lara, who I saw outbox but not outfight Alvarez. Second is Alexander Povetkin, whose horrible performance against Dillian Whyte was reportedly due to coronavirus residue, which Alvarez also claims to have been afflicted by. Can Saunders, another left-hander with a bit more of a reach advantage than Lara, take advantage of a possibly weakened Canelo? Don't bet on it unless Cinco de Mayo weekend gets cancelled and nobody from Texas or Mexico shows up for the fight. Saunders seems capable of making it interesting, but Alvarez wins by wide decision or late TKO. – PHIL WOOLEVER

  • #2
    Proud of my birth state, Texas.

    A free state. Not a slave state.

    Nobody picked “BJS fight week meltdown, fight off” did they?

    Boxing basket case, I rest my case. 😇


    • #3
      It's kind of diva vs. diva, though a case could be made for diva vs. thug. BJS's out-of-the ring behavior has been deplorable and while I never wish for a fighter to be injured (never), I do hope he gets whooped.
      Last edited by Kid Blast; 05-05-2021, 01:21 PM.


      • #4
        Here I am
        back again because I have time while waiting for my flight from JFK to Vegas .
        Before I start my boxing breakdown let me first acknowledge my best friend who is opening the Conrad World resort’s Casino 7/7.
        I’m flying out to visit my friend and bringing my almost 4 year old daughter.
        I picked this weekend because I thought Canelo would fight Saunders in vegas but here we are .
        I’m putting 1000 on the draw at + 2500 and something small on Saunders because even if he wins it will be a draw.
        here are my reasons I’m no particular order.
        Saunders is the better boxer
        you can’t hit what you can’t see
        canelo has trouble with southpaws
        saunders has height and reach advantage
        Canelo is overtrained since he took no time off in between training camps
        canelo looks a bit over confident
        Canelo is emotional- proof he called Saunders camp puss$$.
        saunders won the battle of the size of the ring
        Saunders no showed the silk pajama wearing Canelo press conference and left him looking lonely
        Saunders is in the best shape of his life .
        remember when fury threatened to ditch the fight if the ring padding wasn’t adjusted in Germany
        De’ja vue

        that’s it for now
        i picked fury vs wilder draw
        i picked fury ko wilder 2
        I am picking Saunders wins but gets robbed aka draw

        you can’t bet against a gold standard fighting gypsy
        Canelo is overtrained

        let’s see


        • #5
          Good luck. Enjoy Vegas. Hope you brought your bathing suit. Don't be a stranger.


          • #6
            Man a lot of heavy hitters here for sure, and with good reason they know boxing, me I am just a guy who enjoys boxing have all my life and it has been a long life and watched a lot of fights. So it is no good to think something and not say it for obvious reasons with boxing. So I care not a bit for either fighter for wide differneces but that is just truth. So in rounds 4-5 something will break out and in the end that will be the reason that Saul loses his rep as the fight goes on. If gut feelings tell me anything it is this go with the gut. Thanks for the write ups esp Deepwaters thanks again even tho I do not know you,.Last 2 lines are prime...................


            • #7
              I’ll be at Bellagjo for two days then Rhodes ranch 3 days
              come say hello


              • Kid Blast
                Kid Blast commented
                Editing a comment
                "Rhodes ranch?"

            • #8
              Tyson Fury is usually spot on about big dossers and Womanly Wilders but he’s just phoning in it as a gypsy homer for Billy Joe Saunders. I don’t think he really believes what he’s saying about BJS being some Money Mayweather level boxing savant.

              He’s gonna get creamed.