Current middleweight world champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) will face Billy Joe Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) on May 2, multiple sources have confirmed. The super middleweight bout will apparently headline a card broadcast live on DAZN from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. ESPN Deportes first broke the news.
An official announcement is expected by the end of the week.
England’s Saunders, a former middleweight titleholder and the current WBO super middleweight titleholder, got the assignment over Callum Smith, a fellow Brit who was also considered for the fight. Smith, The Ring Magazine champion and WBA titleholder at 168 pounds, apparently priced himself out.
Alvarez has faced a British super middleweight once before. In late 2018 the Mexican superstar dropped Rocky Fielding four times before scoring a TKO 3 win. A year before that he pitched a shutout over countryman Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in a 164.5-pound catch weight bout. Saunders made his official 168-pound debut last May when he won a vacant world title over the unheralded Shefat Isufi in England, then successfully defended the belt against Marcelo Esteban Coceres in November.
Saunders will have a height and reach advantage against Alvarez, but will also be making a massive leap in opposition at the same time. For Mexico’s favorite redhead, it will be his first time facing a slick southpaw since Cuban Erislandy Lara gave him a tough fight in 2014. However, under the guidance of trainer Eddy Reynoso, Canelo has displayed marked improvement in recent years and figures to bode much better against Saunders.
Should he be successful on May 2, a much anticipated third bout with Golovkin is likely for September. After that, a possible trip to Japan to face 2012 Olympic gold medalist Ryota Murata could be next.
Michael Montero can be found on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram via @MonteroOnBoxing. His weekly podcast ‘The Neutral Corner’ can be heard on iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio and elsewhere.
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