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Billy Joe Saunders v Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez: Free Bets & Betting Offers

boxing gloves impacting

As most of the boxing world started to get palpitations over the possibility of seeing Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua go head-to-head in a bid to unite the heavyweight boxing titles, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders quietly went about arranging the world super-middleweight title unification fight. Currently planned for Cinco De Mayo weekend and taking place at the AT&T Stadium in Texas, it’s sure to be a cracker.

The two men will go head-to-head at the home of the Dallas Cowboys and the fight will hopefully be in front of 60,000 supporters, so life will begin to feel a little bit more normal after a remarkably strange 12 months or so. The real joy of this fight is that there is no clear and obvious boxer that will be feeling supremely confident, unlike some of the bouts that they’ve been engaged in in recent months.

The fight takes place on the 8th May, which will be the early hours of the 9th May in the UK. Make sure if you are placing a wager you take advantage of the added value you can get from taking a welcome offer or any customer deal below.  We’ve already scoured the UK’s leading betting sites to find the best offers.

Billy Joe Saunders v Saul Alvarez Betting Offers for 2021

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Profiles

heavyweight boxer announced the winner by refereeThe first thing to do is to have a look at the profiles of both fighters to give ourselves as much information as possible about them in order to figure out which one stands the best chance of winning if history is anything to go by.

Billy Joe Saunders

billy joe saunders

Mac Dreamstate, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Born in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire on the 30th of August 1989, Billy Joe Saunders grew up as part of a Romanichal travelling community. Boxing runs in Saunders’ blood, given that his great-grandad, Absolom Beeney, was a famous bare-knuckle boxer. A friend and training partner of Tyson Fury, Saunders’ amateur career saw him win his first 49 fights at the senior level to earn a sterling reputation.

He qualified for the Summer Olympic Games that were hosted in Beijing, defeating Adem Kılıççı in the first round before losing out to Carlos Banteux in the second. After that he ended up being suspended from boxing because of ‘lewd behaviour’ towards a woman when at a training camp in France. He made his professional debut in February of 2009 when he fought against Attila Molnar at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.

The referee stopped the fight in the second round after a blistering opening from Saunders, which would prove to be something of a calling card for his career. His seventh professional fight saw him win the Commonwealth Middleweight Championship, defending that title against Bradley Price when he went the whole 12 rounds for the first time in his career. A couple of months later and it took hm just two rounds to beat previous undefeated Jarrod Fletcher.

Saunders added the European Middleweight title to his collection when he defeated Emanuele Blandamura before calling out Chris Eubank Junior. All three of his titles were on the line for the bout, with the loser also being eliminated from the chance to fight for the WBO World Middleweight title. Saunders eventually won the fight by split decision, earning the Lonsdale Belt outright as a result.

Wins against Andy Lee for the WBO Middleweight belt and then against Artur Akavov as he defended his title set up a fight with Willie Monroe Jr., who Saunders defeated by unanimous decision. He then beat David Lemieux on points before eventually testing positive for a banned substance and giving up his WBO Middleweight title as a result. He returned to action in December of 2018, defeating Charles Adamu in four rounds.

Saunders’ ban was lifted in January of 2019, at which point his promoter announced that he would be moving up to super-middleweight. In his first fight at the weight he defeated Shefat Isufi for the WBO Super-Middleweight title, successfully defending it against Marcelo Esteban Coceres. His boxing has been marred by controversy over the years, including in 2020 when he filmed a video teach men ‘how to hit female partners when in isolation’.

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez

saul alvarezHis nickname of ‘Canelo’ translates to ‘cinnamon’ and it’s true that he doesn’t look stereotypically Mexican thanks to his red hair and pasty skin, yet Santos Saúl Álvarez Barragán, better known as Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, was born in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1990.

Known as one of the world’s best counterpunchers and an excellent body puncher, Alvarez began his boxing career after watching his brother Rigoberto make his professional debut. Remarkably, he is the youngest of 8 children and all 6 of his brothers also became professional boxers.

He won silver at the Junior Mexican National Championships in 2004, becoming the Junior Mexican National Boxing Champion as a 15-year-old the year after. Unable to find amateur opponents for him in the wake of his championship win, his father and son training team of Chepo and Eddy Reynoso encouraged him to turn professional.

He knocked out all but 2 of the first 13 opponents that he faced in the year and a half or so after turning pro. During his career his weight has fluctuated enough to mean that he’s fought as a welterweight, a light middleweight, a middleweight and a super middleweight.

It was during his time as light middleweight that he suffered the only loss of his career to date, though there’s no shame in losing out to Floyd Mayweather Jr. who never lost a fight. His career has progress along the lines that you would expect for a boxer of his talent, beating Julio César Chávez Jr. by unanimous decision in May of 2017 to set up a fight with Gennady Golovkin. That ended in a split draw decision that was ridiculed in some quarters because it was felt that Golovkin had narrowly won it.

It set up a rematch, though, which took place in September of 2018. This time Álvarez won on a majority decision, though it was again not without controversy and the media felt it had been Golovkin’s fight.

Canello moved up to Super-Middleweight in October 2018 when he took in Rocky Fielding and defeated him by TKO to win the WBA belt.  He then briefly dropped back to Light Middleweight in May 2019 to defend his titles in the division and went on win that unification bout against Daniel Jacobs by unanimous decision.

Like a yo-yo he then jumped all the way up to light-heavyweight in November 2019 to defeat Sergey Kovalev in Las Vegas winning the WBO belt for that division.  Since then Saul has settled back into super-middleweight, which started by defeated Callum Smith in Texas by unanimous decision to take the vacant WBA and WBC titles.  He followed this up defeating mandatory WBC challenger Avni Yıldırım by TKO in January 2021 to set up the supper-middleweight unification fight against Billy Joe Saunders.

What They Are Fighting For

Date & Time (UK) Where Weight Title TV
09/05/2021 ~5am AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas Super-Middleweight WBC, WBA & WBO (Unification Bout) Sky Box Office

boxing knockout

The two fighters were primed to go up against each other at the start of 2020 in what was dubbed by some as ‘boxing’s worst kept secret’, but the Covid-19 pandemic meant that the fight had to be cancelled. That has meant that more titles have been added to the bout, thanks to Alvarez’s defeat of Callum Smith on points to claim the WBA Super-Middleweight title from him in his 54th career win.

That 54th win was the 17th world title fight, with only one defeat suffered during that time. That defeat came at the hands of Floyd Mayweather, which is no shame when you remember that Mayweather is one of the best pound for pound boxers ever to grace the sport. Given that Saunders is an Olympian and a world champion at two weights, you can see why this fight is being given such a build-up by the boxing world.

The success of both boxers means that there are four titles on the line. The WBC, WBA Super, WBO and Ring Magazine titles will be claimed by the victor. If it happens to be Alvarez that wins then he’ll only need to beat Caleb Plant for the IBF title in order to hold every championship belt at the Super-Middleweight level. For Saunders, meanwhile, victory would see him go down as one of the best British boxers ever.

What Do The Experts Think

heavyweight boxer looks like anthony joshua

The boxers themselves have entirely different approaches to the fight. Alvarez was full of respect when speaking about Saunders, saying, “He’s a very difficult fighter. We need to go for him. People talk, but I’m a mature fighter. I know how to control myself. All I need to do is go into the ring, win and make history. I want to unify the division. No one has done it in Latin America. In the world only a few fighters have done it – the best. I want to make history and be one of the best in the world.”

Saunders, on the other hand, caused controversy when he referred to Alvarez as ‘a little ginger pussy’ and ‘a little ginger faggot’. The ‘bad boy of British boxing’ has been fined several times by the British Boxing Board of Control but was in bullish mood when the fight was announced, saying, “I believe I am the only one with the footwork, knowhow, skillset, mindset and brain to unlock that door in Canelo.”

As for the experts, there’s little doubt that Alvarez is heading into this fight as the favourite. That being said, there are a few dissenting voices out that there think that the Mexican might struggle if he under-estimates what Saunders is capable of. It’s likely that the fight could come down to footwork and that is something that Saunders is really good at and Canelo can struggle with if he’s caught off guard.

Then again, the truth is that Saunders struggled against Chris Eubank Junior at times and Andy Lee got some got punches in on him during their bout. He might have won them both, but neither of those fighters is Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, so if the fight ends up going down a similar path then it’s not hard to see why many think the Mexican will come out on top when the punching stops.

There’s also the fact that Canelo has already defeated six British opponents in the form of  Matthew Hatton, Ryan Rhodes, Liam Smith, Amir Khan, Rocky Fielding and Callum Smith, so he won’t be overly concerned about what Saunders has to offer. That the fight is taking place on Cinco de Mayo weekend will further strengthen Canelo’s desire to win, leading some to believe that if he doesn’t knock Saunders out he’ll win it on points.

Callum Smith, one of those British boxers that has been beaten by Alvarez, feels that Saunders has a chance against the Mexican thanks to some of his attributes but worries that a lack of punching power might be what lets him down. He said, “Billy Joe has got movement, he’s a southpaw, a bit awkward and can probably stay out of trouble. But I don’t know if he’s got anything to keep Canelo off, enough power.”

Co-Founder of buymyfight.com, Ryan Clark, thinks it will all come down to whether or not Saunders has the ability to step up to Canelo’s level. He believes that Saunders has a tendency to fight at the level required depending on the fight, so if he can ‘get his head focussed for the job at hand’ then it’s possible that he can take the fight to Alvarez in a meaningful way and make it a 50/50 battle.

Kieran Gething, who is the Super-Lightweight champion in the Welsh Area, thinks that Saunders will need to knock Canelo out if he’s going to get the win. His gut feeling is that it will go the way of the Mexican if anything other than a knockout happens, saying, “I can’t see Canelo being stopped, and I can’t see him losing on points in the US. For me you can expect a very good boxing exhibition from Billy only to lose a tight decision.”

The main thing that most of the experts agree on is that if there is any fighter out there that is capable of beating Alvarez then it is Billy Joe Saunders. That’s the feeling of English light-heavyweight champion Joel McIntyre, for example, whilst sports agent Tim Rickson said, “Can Billy Joe do it? Yes, I believe he can. Of all the potential contenders out there, Saunders has the best chance of winning, in my opinion.”

Key Statistics

Saunders:

Height: 5 foot 11 inches

Reach: 71 inches (Southpaw)

Record: 30 Fights – 30 Wins (14 by KO) – 0 Losses – 0 Draws

Alvarez:

Height: 5 foot 9 inches

Reach: 70.5 inches (Orthodox)

Record: 58 Fights – 55 Wins (37 by KO) – 1 Loss – 2 Draws

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