The best pound-for-pound boxer in the world will enter the ring on May 8 as Canelo Alvarez takes on Billy Joe Saunders in a World Super-Middleweight title unification bout in Arlington, Texas.
Alvarez will put his WBA, WBC, and The Ring super middleweight titles on the line against the current WBO super middleweight champion Saunders.
Boxing betting lines have Alvarez installed as a massive -700 favorite while Saunders comes back at +450.
We break down the boxing odds for this blockbuster title bout and give our best Canelo vs. Saunders picks and predictions for Saturday, May 8.
Canelo vs Saunders fight odds
|Method of Victory||Canelo Alvarez||Billy Joe Saunders|
|Win by decision or technical decision||+150||+500|
|Win by KO, TKO or DQ||+100||+2,000|
|Draw or technical draw||+2,000||+2,000|
Odds courtesy of bet365 as of May 7, 2021.
Canelo vs Saunders betting preview
Canelo Alvarez enters this fight as the No. 1 ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world and is fresh off a dominating win over Avni Yıldırım in February, where the challenger threw in the towel after the end of the third round.
Alvarez has been fighting professionally since he was 15 years old and has won world titles in four different weight classes. In 58 career bouts, Alvarez has only been defeated once, a decision loss to Floyd Mayweather in 2013. Since then, he has reeled off 13 wins and a draw.
Canelo has big wins over Gennady Golovkin, Miguel Cotto, and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. The 30-year-old is known as a pressure fighter and counter-puncher with ferocious power and excellent head movement.
Billy Joe Saunders is coming off his second consecutive WBO super-middleweight title defense after picking apart Martin Murray over 12 rounds in December.
Saunders is a perfect 30-0 in his career with 11 of his last 15 wins coming by way of decision. The former WBO middleweight champ vacated that title following a six-month suspension for testing positive for a stimulant.
Saunders returned to the ring and moved up to 168 pounds where he defeated Shefat Isufi for the vacant super-middleweight belt in 2019. Saunders is a slick southpaw with quick hands and excellent mobility.
Canelo vs Saunders tale of the tape
|Canelo Alvarez||Billy Joe Saunders|
|167 pounds||Weight||167 pounds|
|70.5 inches||Reach||71 inches|
|55-1-2 (37 KO)||Record||30-0 (14 KO)|
Canelo vs Saunders predictions and betting picks
PREDICTION: Canelo to win (-700) - Saunders might be a tad underrated given these odds but he doesn't really have the power to catch Canelo with a big shot and pull off the upset.
While some believe that the Brit's southpaw stance and movement could give Canelo fits, like Erislandy Lara did in a split decision back in 2013, Canelo has grown massively as a fighter since then.
Canelo has become a much more technical boxer and does a great job of pressuring and cutting off the ring without opening himself up defensively. He has a big advantage when it comes to power and should be able to walk down Saunders without chasing him around the ring.
With Saunders' skill set, does he have a chance to win by decision if he has the perfect fight? Sure, but given his own inconsistency and how well-rounded and active Canelo has been, I can't see it happening.
PREDICTION: Canelo to win by decision +150 - With Canelo having odds of +100 to win by KO or TKO, oddsmakers seem to see that as the most likely outcome. I'm not so sure. While Alvarez is known for his vicious power and highlight-reel knockouts over Sergey Kovalev, Amir Khan, and James Kirkland, he will need to be more patient and clinical in his approach on Saturday.
The recent argument between the two camps about the size of the ring for the bout, with Saunders wanting a 22-foot ring as opposed to an 18-foot version, shows just how much space matters for Saunders' style.
Saunders is known for his lateral movement and knows that his only real path to victory is to fight behind his jab and use his footwork to diffuse Canelo's pressure while boxing at range. That's the recipe for a fight that should go the distance, and with Alvarez dictating the pace and landing the heavier shots, it's likely that the judges will give him the win.
PREDICTION: Over 10.5 rounds -140 - Despite Canelo's power, I don't see this fight ending quickly, not with Saunders' technical ability and tricky southpaw stance – which could take Canelo a few rounds to adjust to.
Keep in mind that while 37 of Canelo's 55 career wins have come by KO/TKO, five of his last eight fights went the distance and his knockout of Sergey Kovalev didn't happen until the 11th round. Meanwhile, seven of Saunders' last eight fights went till at least the 11th round.
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