Face the Fearless is finally going ahead on Saturday as WBA, WBC, and The Ring super middleweight champion Canelo Saul Alvarez takes on WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders at AT&T Stadium in Texas.
It could be the largest crowd for a fight since Gene Tunney vs Jack Dempsey in 1927 and there has been plenty of drama behind the scenes.
Bettors are looking forward to watching quality fighters, who feature a combined record of 85-1-2. Canelo Alvarez is 55-1-2 and Saunders has yet to face defeat. However, the online sports betting markets are firmly with the Mexican.
There will be some bets come for the Gypsy, but does he stand a chance against one of the best pound-for-pound fighters of his generation?
Alvarez In Career-Best Form
Alvarez has two draws and only one loss, which came to Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2013.
The 30-year-old has been fighting professionally since the age of 15, so he has been around the block a few times. Since his majority decision loss to Mayweather, he has looked impressive.
“I understood also that a defeat is not derailing from my main goal, which is to become the best fighter in the world,” Alvarez told Sky Sports. “Sometimes we think we are ready to do certain things when we are not. That applies professionally in other areas of life and it happened, but my mind is set on becoming the best fighter in the world. That’s still there.
“There will also always be something that motivates me. Right now I do want to win all of the titles, but after that there will always be some motivation.
“I love boxing. I love what I do. I always set short-term goals in my mind and for now I am fully focused on this one.”
Mike Tyson completely writes off Billy Joe Saunders’ chances against Canelo Alvarez https://t.co/GAhpPcea4i
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) May 1, 2021
He scored notable knockout wins over Amir Khan, Sergey Kovalev, and a majority decision win over GGG. There is no reason for concern about his form coming into this fight, especially against a much lesser opponent in Saunders.
Saunders Up to This Level?
We don’t think Billy Joe Saunders is close to the level of Canelo, but at 30-0, he deserves a chance to prove us wrong.
The concern is the level of fighters he has beaten, and he also only has 14 wins by KO. In comparison, Alvarez has 55 wins and 37 have come by way of knockout.
Saunders, a staunch Gypsy, much like heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, is a WBO champion. However, he defeated Irishman Andy Lee to win the middleweight title and Shefat Isufi for the super middleweight title.
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) May 3, 2021
It’s hardly inspiring opposition and neither Lee nor Isufi would hold a candle to Alvarez. That’s our biggest concern for the Brit and it’s reflected in boxing betting markets.
Saunders is the distinct outsider at +475, but there has been betting support for Alvarez to win via decision. Many believe Saunders can avoid a telling blow, which is possible given his record of going the distance.
“I’ve planned this out in my head and I’ve been dreaming about this since I was a little boy fighting in my front room,” Saunders told the BBC. “I’ve had dreams of this day happening since I was about five or six years old… I’ve got all the way here.
“This will be the biggest upset in boxing history, I believe. Certainly in the last 20 years. I believe this is meant to be.
“To win this means absolutely everything to me. More than money, more than fame, more than everything. I want to win this so badly it’s a joke.”
We wouldn’t bet against Alvarez, but the -750 odds are a touch short for our liking.
Canelo is capable of making a statement and a knockout is on the cards. He is at even money to win via KO, TKO, or DQ, and those odds are worth taking.
Saunders will do well to stick with Alvarez for 12 rounds as the Mexican is a tireless fighter. He never relents and it could be all too much for the challenger.
Take Canelo to win via KO at EV and for more value, take him to win in Round 8. He is paying +1100 to win in Round 8 and +1000 to win in Round 9. Taking both options is a sound betting strategy.