‘You don’t talk trash to Canelo’: Alvarez forces Saunders to quit on stool after VICIOUS uppercut in Texas title fight (VIDEO)
Following a build-up mired in rows over the ring size and behavior bordering on the disrespectful from Saunders, Alvarez was the man to unify the titles in front of 73,000 raucous fans at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
The Mexican landed the decisive blow in the eighth round with a devastating uppercut which instantly left Saunders with a grotesquely swollen right eye.
Alvarez confidently raised his arms seconds after landing the shot, confident that he had crushed his opponent’s eye socket and ability to continue.
I had it even after 8 rounds with @bjsaunders_ having won the 1, 4, 5, & 6th rounds and @Canelo having won the 2, 3, 7 & 8th rounds. But I never doubted the #P4P King & he ended it with a devastating right upper cut that broke Billy's face. pic.twitter.com/qZMxPUdSCz— Vertex Combat Sports (@CombatVertex) May 9, 2021
So it proved as Saunders’ team deemed him unable to come out for the ninth round, as he was rushed to hospital with a suspected broken eye socket while Alvarez added yet another title to his collection.
“I think I broke his cheek. The truth is I knew it,” Alvarez said in the ring afterwards.
“It's something very difficult to explain. I don't have words, the emotion I feel for all the people who have come out," the Mexican added in front of the bumper indoor crowd for an event taking place on the Cinco de Mayo holiday weekend in his homeland.
“The motivation they give me to continue on is very difficult to explain."
Alvarez, 30, was ahead on all three scorecards at the time of the stoppage, with two judges having it 78-74 in favor of the Mexican and one slightly closer at 77-75.
Despite being dominated by the intensity of Alvarez in the early rounds, there was the feeling that Saunders was starting to make some inroads in the middle stages of the fight.
Alvarez, however, never seemed flustered and the telling uppercut which decided the fight was gloriously – and spitefully – executed.
“His eye socket was caved in, he couldn’t see. I didn’t get the response I wanted from him. It’s frustrating really because I felt he was growing into it,” said Saunders’ coach Mark Tibbs afterwards.
According to Eddie Hearn, Billy Joe Saunders busted his eye socket and his trainer refused to let him go back out. pic.twitter.com/72eH1e4tCC— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) May 9, 2021
Alvarez handed the brash Brit a first defeat in his 31-fight career, while the Mexican’s only blemishes in his remarkable 59 fights remain the decision loss to Floyd Mayweather in 2013 and two draws – one of which came against Kazakh star Gennady Golovkin in 2017.
That was the last time Alvarez failed to taste victory inside the ring, and attentions immediately turned to capturing the one super middleweight title not in his grasp – the IBF belt held by American Caleb Plant.
Alvarez said that was the fight which made sense next, ominously warning Plant “I’m coming my friend.”
"I'm coming, my friend!"Canelo has his sights set on Caleb Plant 👑 pic.twitter.com/xGqBY9Qqrm— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) May 9, 2021
For Saunders, 31, and his entourage – including world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury – it was a bitter end to a night which had been preceded by goading words from the Brit and his team towards their Mexican rivals, as well as accusations of disrespect to members of the foreign press.
Many had speculated that Saunders’ southpaw stance might offer a puzzle to truly tax Alvarez, although in the end the Mexican found the answer in the form of a ferocious and perfectly-timed shot – as he so often does.
The online reaction hailed the Mexican – with some claiming Saunders got his medicine after the insult-laden build-up to the fight.
That’s why you don’t talk trash to Canelo. Saunders busted up and forced to quit #CaneloSaunders— Ben Damon (@ben_damon) May 9, 2021
Others noted the destructive simplicity with which Alvarez goes about his business as he added another trinket to his growing list of accolades across four weight classes.
Let’s put things in perspective. Rounds that were close was’t because they were competitive. It was more of Canelo setting Sanders up. It’s a 12rd fight you can’t put your foot on the gas every round. Sometimes you have to cruise to find your openings. Canelo made it look easy.— Gabriel Rosado 🇵🇷 (@KingGabRosado) May 9, 2021
Maybe I do need an eye exam, not sure what commentators were watching, for most part I saw Canelo in control and landing the significant shots. #CaneloSaunders— Teddy Atlas (@TeddyAtlasReal) May 9, 2021