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PICK EM FRIDAY | SAUL ‘CANELO’ ALVAREZ VS. BILLY JOE SAUNDERS!

Paul J Daley – Canelo via Decision – 70,000 fight fans descend on the T&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas tomorrow night, putting to bed the debate of Billy Joe Saunders being the person to overthrow Canelo’s reign. It’s been a long time coming but after a few teething problems regards the ring size etc we will finally get the answer we have all been waiting for.

I have to be quite blunt before continuing to confess to never being sold on Saunders, sure he is a solid fighter, to that there is no doubt but having seen him struggle throughout the years with lesser opposition than the one he will be up against tomorrow night questions still remain. I know some will point to the spectacular performance against David Lemieux but based on that performance alone are we also reading too much into his threat to Canelo?

The meteoric rise of Alvarez on the other hand as been phenomenal, his loss to Floyd Mayweather now feels a lifetime ago, progressing in beating opposition without regard for meagre things such as weight classes, going as far north of his natural division to relieve Light Heavyweight king Sergey Kovalev of his titles and not to mention the apparent boogeyman of the Super Middleweight class in Callum Smith who he cut through as a hot knife would through butter.

So why then is this fight so intriguing? To that, some would point to his difficulty in the past when faced with southpaws (like Saunders) plus added into the confusion that we don’t quite know whether Billy Joe Saunders has been fighting in cruise control all these years or his ability to rise to an occasion which he is now presented.

I have to admit to being a little swayed in my prediction, more so from seeing many a knowledgable boxing fan resolute in their verdict as you will see on this page but still I’m opting for the tried and tested in Canelo via decision.

Saunders will make the fight interesting with his movement, winning rounds with his jab but above all else I found mesmerising is the adaptability of Canelo which I feel is one of his unsung talents, then he will be able to find his rhythm before catching up to the Englishman at the midway point, being bold I could even see him drop Saunders before taking the judges scores unanimously.


Tony Tolj – Canelo – Canelo is in for his biggest test in quite some time. I’m really looking forward to the contest and add 70,000 screaming fans makes for one hell of a fight. I think Canelo has too much power and ring smarts for a game Billy Joe.. I’m backing Canelo in adding some more gold to his trophy cabinet.


Ricardo Castineyra – Canelo via Decision – I think it will be quite an entertaining fight when the undefeated native of the UK makes Canelo Alvarez fail on multiple occasions who will fall into the despair of wanting to win by KO, I see Saunders throwing punches and constantly moving sideways and backwards. Canelo on the other hand will try to use the counter attack with combinations that I predict will constantly fail, even though he has tried to improve this technique it will not work at all with Saunders who knows this deficiency of Canelo.

Saunders will land significant blows throughout, however, they will not be enough for the win.

I predict Canelo to win on the scorecards, but will take a hard experience with a rival like Saunders, if this will result in a competitive fight it can lead to a rematch.

I think that Saunders has great boxing quality, but he will be overcome by the sheer amount of punches thrown by the Mexican, in addition to Canelo who will always on the front foot.


Ciaran Gibbons – Canelo via Decision – I expect the opening rounds of the fight to be close and Saunders might even be ahead on the score cards around the midway point, by boxing smart, only engaging on his terms and tying up Alvarez when he gets in close. But increasingly round by round Alvarez will be working Saunders out and building the pressure. I expect Canelo to take control of the fight in the 2nd half as Saunders slows and wins a clear points decision as Saunders fights an increasingly negative fight in survival mode.


Wilson M Scott – Billy Joe Saunders via Points – So its on! The WBC WBA ‘Super’, WBO and Ring Magazine super-middleweight titles are on the line, this is for all the gold baby!

If you know me you know. but for others, I am going to be honest and say straight away I am not a Saul Alvarez fan. Is he a very good fighter? yes, he is strong, has a decent jab, is a very smart counter puncher and we all know about the body shots.

I feel he’s looked better recently due to the opponents shortcomings rather than his increase in skill, natural talent. Billy Joe Saunders I feel is a guy who needs big fights rise to the occasion, almost like our great Super Joe Calzaghe, the more dangerous a fighter, the higher he performs and it isn’t getting much bigger than this.

So it’s pertinent that he remains sharp, focused and uses all the tools he has at his disposal to beat Canelo, And it seems to me he may be ready to peak and could see the best Billy Joe there is.

Saunders has great fundamentals, is good on the outside and can mix it up when he needs to, with whiskers to boot. I feel if Billy can get off the mark and put some rounds in the bank he has every skill needed to beat Saul. But like I say, he must put money in the bank for example like Canelo does to his opponents with some big body shots.

If he can lead the fight to the 7th whilst staying focused I am picking BJS on points. and if he really gets some early body shots in and peppers him with that jab don’t rule out a very late stoppage!

Huge egg on the face choice there but I feel this kid has something special. Deep in the basement! that being said, sadly If its close in anyway the judges will pick Canelo. Let’s just hope both fighters perform at their highest abilities and we get a scorcher!


Paul Hortop – Billy Joe Saunders via SD – At last we have approached the eve of what could be one of the best boxing contests we will see for a very long time. The fight itself over the years has risen as one of Saul Alvarez’s toughest contests to date – A very slick, skill full and determined Southpaw in Billy Joe Saunders taking on P4P Current best Canelo in Dallas!! 

Having seen Billy on the run up to the fight I feel he has had the best possible camp, really giving himself the best opportunity to perform to his highest ability come Saturday night. 

As far as a prediction I feel Billy may start the fight fast find his range relatively quickly, boxing off the back foot and in a chess match-esque way. I feel Billy may have more success than others have had early on in the fight, piling pressure on Canelo by winning the majority of the close rounds, In or around rounds 8/9 I feel Canelo’s team will pressure him to walk down Billy Joe in an attempt of the stoppage which doesn’t come. Billy holds on a take a SD win and stuns the world.


Dean Berks – Canelo TKO – Whilst this match up is being given the treatment of a 50 – 50 fight, I can only see one winner. I have never been sold on Saunders and believe that close fights with Eubank Jr and Ryder are a truer indication of his ability than wins over an end of his career Lee and a limited Lemieux are. The Lemieux result in particular gets, in my opinion, overrated kudos as he already had three defeats on his record, two by stoppage, and yet Saunders is celebrated like he had outboxed the late Marvelous Marvin Hagler. Yes he has speed and slickness, but he has never faced anyone on Canelo’s level before. Canelo has triumphed over some of the best fighters in and around his weight classes. His timing, accuracy and ring generalship has evolved over time and he is arguably the best pound for pound fighter on the planet. And I don’t think that will change on Saturday. Saunders movement may trouble him early, but by the middle rounds Canelo will have figured out the WBO titleist, breaking him down as it becomes a game of survival. I feel Canelo is looking to deliver a statement here and will force a stoppage in the final third.


Steve Haigh – Canelo TKO 8 – I really can’t see past Canelo by stoppage around the midway point, I don’t think Saunders has the firepower to cause any upset and he certainly won’t come out on top over 12 rounds by way of judges decision, Question is how long he can stay on the back foot as counter puncher before he has to fight his way out of a situation?


Barbara Pinnella – Canelo by split decision – While all of the oddsmakers are overwhelmingly giving the fight to Canelo, they just might be underestimating Saunders a bit. True, Alvarez appears to still be in his prime and has gotten bigger and stronger as time has gone on. But to discount BJ almost completely is a mistake. That said, do I believe Saunders will win?

I think the fight will be a good one. I look for Saunders to have most of the control for the first four or five rounds. After that however, I see Canelo taking advantage of what he has learned from BJ and turning the tables on him. But I believe the fight will be a closer one than most might expect. I’m going out on a limb here and say there will be no knockout. In fact, I don’t think it will be a blowout.

I've been in the boxing industry for over 16 years but been a fan for almost double that figure. I'm the proud owner of TopClassBoxing which continues to go from strength to strength as we strive to give fight fans a voice to be heard amongst the community. I've also had several articles published by reputable magazines and you can usually catch me around ringside.

1 comment on “PICK EM FRIDAY | SAUL ‘CANELO’ ALVAREZ VS. BILLY JOE SAUNDERS!

  1. Loved everyone’s thoughts and analysis

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