Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders will meet in front of what could be the biggest sporting crowd since the start of the pandemic a year ago, with a fight venue and date now confirmed for their title showdown.
Although the super middleweight unification bout between the masterful Mexican and the undefeated Saunders had been on the cards for some time, the clash has now been confirmed for May 8 at one of the vastest settings in the US.
Streaming giant DAZN confirmed on Friday afternoon that the WBA (Super), WBC, WBO and The Ring crown clash will take place at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas – and should play host to the largest crowd at a sporting event since the pandemic broke out in early 2020.
The ground can hold 80,000 on NFL matchdays, but potential attendances at the Dallas Cowboys’ home can rise to 100,000, with relaxed laws in its state now allowing capacity crowds.
While Alvarez pulled in a still-impressive 50,000 punters for his last outing there – a 2016 demolition of Brit Liam Smith – he is a much bigger draw now as boxing’s pound-for-pound king and arguably the sport’s most popular star.
Saunders is expected to be a much tougher opponent than Williams and his brother Callum, from whom Canelo snatched his current 168lb straps in December via unanimous decision.
Still, some have pointed to the fact that even if the cousin of Tyson Fury puts on a boxing clinic through the excellent jab and footwork he showed against David Lemieux for the WBO belt in 2018, he could face being robbed on the cards in the same manner Gennady Golovkin, Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout were against Canelo.
“There goes Saunders’ chance of getting a decision if he had one,” warned one disgruntled punter. “70,000 Mexicans screaming every time Canelo throws a punch won’t help Saunders in the slightest.”
In any event, and despite some fans continuing to brand Saunders a “boring” dance partner for Alvarez, the build-up to the spectacle will be anything but dull.
A loudmouth often on the wrong side of the law with links to controversial former MTK boss Daniel Kinahan, the proud traveller is an elite trash-talker who will do whatever it takes to try to get in the head of his 30-year-old foe.