Canelo Alvarez vs Billy Joe Saunders Preview, Tips, Odds & Prediction

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Canelo Alvarez vs Billy Joe Saunders Preview

It's the one we've been waiting for as the pound for pound best fighter on the planet Canelo Alvarez takes on the unbeaten Billy Joe Saunders for the Ring Magazine, WBA, WBC & WBO super middleweight world titles.

In a fight that was just hours from being announced for early 2020 but had to be called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we finally see the pair battle it out in a fight that will see the winner solidify their claims for being not just the best 168lbs fighter on the planet but also the best pound for pound fighter on the planet.

In this preview, we'll be breaking the fight down and taking a look at how both fighters will go about winning the fight and then finally giving our Canelo v Saunders prediction.

How Canelo Alvarez Will Win The Fight

For starters, we know Canelo is going to bring the heat with his typical Mexican pressure fighter style with more or less every punch looking to be a concussive one. However, as he has shown over the past six or seven years, Canelo has a lot more to his armoury than just front foot pressure.

As well as becoming one of the finest counter punchers in the game, he's shown that his boxing intelligence is up there with the best in the world also. This was shown in his last fight when dominating the then WBC and Ring Magazine champion, Callum Smith.

One of Smith's biggest attributes and arguably his best shot was his left hook. Alvarez showed just how high his boxing IQ is by purposely targeting the left bicep of Smith's to obviously wear him down and nullify that shot.

So how does Canelo beat Billy Joe? The answer is simple: there's no doubting that Saunders is the more naturally talented from a boxing standpoint out of the pair and Canelo needs to find a way around that. The Brit only has a one-inch reach advantage, so it's not like this is a fight that he can win comfortably at range.

This is orthodox vs southpaw. Expect Canelo to be planting his front foot all over Billy Joe's front foot early on in the fight to limit his movement and win the battle of the jabs early on. As the fight progresses, the Mexican will start to mix it up to body and head and aim to take Billy Joe out in the latter rounds or win by a decent margin on the scorecards.

Canelo to win is priced at 1/8, but he is 6/4 to win on scorecards.

Canelo vs Saunders Prediction

skybet betting tip

CANELO TO WIN BY DECISION @ 6/4

How Billy Joe Saunders Will Win The Fight

Now for the million-dollar question, which to date, only one man has had the answer for. So, how do you beat Canelo? The man who may well have all the answers to that is Billy Joe Saunders.

A career full of mixed emotions both inside and outside of the ring, Billy Joe has built up a reputation for being not just one of the slickest boxers in the 160lbs & 168lbs divisions, but one of the slickest boxers on the planet. However, he's just failed to land that career-defining fight yet, but he gets that here up against the Mexican.

For starters, we need to see the best Saunders we've ever seen. He'll admit himself that one of his problems can be that he fights to the level of his opponents but if he manages to do that here, then he's in with a real chance.

On the occasions he's needed to step up against the likes of Chris Eubank Jr, Andy Lee and most famously, David Lemieux, where he put on an absolute boxing clinic away from home, he has done. All in all, we know Billy has got a big performance in his locker.

That snappy southpaw jab will prove crucial here. Saunders can whack, but if Canelo can take a shot clean off one of the hardest hitters of all time outside of the heavyweight division, Gennady Golovkin, then it's going to take some punch from Saunders to buzz him. The Englishman needs to frustrate him. He needs to make him miss and win the mental battle before the physical battle.

Saunders will need to use that free-flowing footwork of his to step in and out of range and pivot off to different angles to basically upset the rhythm of his opponent. Expect him not to necessarily try to hurt Canelo with every punch, but to try and simply land scoring shots on a regular basis off the back foot.

The Londoner cannot afford to let this fight turn in to a phone box tear up because that just takes away all the advantages that he possesses over the Mexican, and if he manages to keep the fight at range and control the pace of the fight, he's got a proper chance of upsetting the odds here.

Canelo Alvarez vs Billy Joe Saunders Prediction

skybet betting tip

BILLY JOE SAUNDERS BY DECISION/TECHNICAL DECISION @ 5/1

Fight Prediction

Understandably, the bookies have Canelo as big favourite priced at 1/8 with Sky Bet to win, with Billy Joe at around 6/1 in most places to claim the win over the Mexican.

What makes the fight so interesting though is the clash of styles. They're both comfortably the best in the division at what they do so really it's going to be a question of who can outsmart the other fighter with their style and ultimately, who can stick to their game plan for the longest.

Albeit a lot lighter, we saw a similar fight to this for the IBF world flyweight title last Friday night. Sunny Edwards, the slick switch-hitting boxer and underdog in the fight, took on the hot favourite and hard-hitting pressure fighter, Moruti Mthalane.

Edwards put on a 12-round masterclass to claim the win and his first world title, and if Saunders is going to get the win over Canelo here, he needs to replicate something similar that. The Englishman showed in the Lemieux fight that he can do it for 12 rounds, so there's no reason to write him off doing it here despite Canelo being a lot better version of the Canadian. Canelo's two most disappointing performances to date have come against Floyd Mayweather and Erislandy Lara who both, similar to Billy Joe, are boxers before fighters so he is there to be outboxed.

There's more to this fight than just two world champions aiming to add another couple of belts to their mantlepiece. There's boxing politics involved. Canelo is undoubtedly the big home favourite and on Cinco De Mayo weekend, it's going to be hard to get a points decision win over the Mexican in front of a sold-out crowd where more than most will be routing for him. Unfortunately for Saunders, the large British contingency that often flys to these world title bouts involving a native are unable to do so because of COVID.

We believe Billy Joe will start quick and find a home for his jab early on but Canelo will likely come in to the fight in the later rounds and claim a close points decision over the Brit. But do not be surprised if we see some controversial cards in favour of the Mexican if the fight is left in the hands of the judges - it won't be the first time this has happened, after two controversial decisions against Golvokin.

Prediction: Canelo Alvarez To Win By Decision Or Technical Decision

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