Canelo Alvarez will be aiming to add the WBO super-middleweight title to his current collection of championship belts when he steps into the squared circle against Billy Joe Saunders on Saturday, May 8 as a massive betting favourite. Canelo has emerged as a dominant force across five weight classes during his illustrious 16-year professional boxing career, racking up a spectacular 55-1-2 record. That includes three victories as a super middleweight during his current six-fight win streak.
However, Canelo will likely be facing his toughest opponent since his two epic clashes with rival Gennady Golovkin three years ago in next Saturday’s bout at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Undefeated in 30 fights as a pro, Billy Joe Saunders will be looking to take the WBA (Super), WBC, and The Ring super-middleweight titles as he returns to the ring for just the second time since November 2019.
CanadianBettingSites has you covered with all the odds, trends, and tips ahead of the most highly anticipated boxing matchup of 2021.
|Canelo Alvarez vs Billy Joe Saunders - Odds to Win|
|Billy Joe Saunders||5.50||5.73||6.50|
Canelo Thriving on Busy Schedule
Canelo has kept a busy schedule of late, with Saturday’s bout marking his third time he will have stepped into the ring in less than six months. The 30-year-old Mexican needed a full 12 rounds, and a unanimous nod from the judges, to get past Englishman Callum Smith and claim the WBA (Super), The Ring, and vacant WBC super-middleweight titles back in mid-December.
— BoxingScene.com (@boxingscene) April 30, 2021
Canelo enjoyed a far easier time in the most recent defence of his super middleweight belts, ending Avni Yildirim’s night with a third-round TKO victory. Overall, the champ has finished opponents in three of five outings fighting as a super middleweight. However, Canelo has consistently seen more fights go the distance in recent years after building a reputation as a ferocious power puncher early in his career, with 11 of his first 12 career wins coming by KO or TKO.
Has Billy Joe Moved Past His Bad Behavior Outside the Ring?
Unlike Canelo, Saunders has remained largely inactive over the past 18 months. The 31-year-old has consistently put himself into hot water with the British Boxing Board of Control due to bad behaviour, ranging from baiting drug addicts to attack passersby in exchange for crack cocaine to disrupting the travel plans of fellow boxers by contacting their airline and claiming they were travelling while infected with Covid-19.
— AK (@BoxingThrill) July 27, 2020
Saunders’ antics earned him a suspension of his boxing licence, which kept him on the shelf for most of 2020. But after paying a substantial fine to have his suspension lifted, the talented southpaw finally returned to action last December. He defended the WBO super-middleweight title with a 12-round unanimous decision to win over fellow Englishman Martin Murray.
With that victory, Saunders improved his professional boxing record to a sparkling 30-0. And while 14 of those victories have come by knockout, the 31-year-old has typically gone in the distance in recent outings, with 11 of his past 15 fights ultimately getting settled by the judges. However, the long layoff, the distractions caused by his controversial behaviour, and the less than glowing reviews he received on his win over Murray have cast doubt on how prepared Saunders is for Canelo.
While little value exists in wagering on Canelo (1.14), he is tough to ignore as a betting favourite, with a $20 bet at Bodog paying out just $22.50
Will Saturday’s Fight Go The Distance?
Considerably more betting value can be found among the props available on Saturday night’s fight. With both these fighters enjoying lots of experience in fights going the distance, the odds favour Saturday’s clash ultimately going a full 12 rounds.
https://t.co/FImMUuXjTC Canelo Alvarez personally negotiated kidnapped brother’s safe release just days before Rocky Fielding fight in 2018, then went out and won by third-round knockout: Canelo Alvarez is… https://t.co/03BrpO384T https://t.co/du5a2cKtub #Boxing #BoxingNews pic.twitter.com/A4hBa2uRhR
— The Pugilist 🥊 (@_ThePugilist) April 30, 2021
However, with Saunders showing rust in his last outing following a year of distraction, Canelo enjoys a golden opportunity to record consecutive finishes for the first time since winning the WBO light-middleweight title with a ninth-round KO, back in September 2016. Indeed, the odds of Saturday’s fight-ending inside the distance for any reason (1.94) are simply too good to ignore, with a $20 bet at Bet365 paying out a tidy $39.00.
Look for Saunders to Go Down
Of course, there is no shortage of British fight fans who would argue that Billy Joe’s time has come. Saunders’ perfect record has given him an aura of invincibility, which has worked to his advantage in the psychological game against previous opponents. However, that is unlikely to faze Canelo, who enjoys the benefit of his past experience against the likes of Golovkin and Floyd Mayweather Jr., who handed him the only loss of his career.
Canelo says he’d knockout Mayweather if they both fought at their prime. 🗣 pic.twitter.com/rpZ5xnCjHy
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) April 28, 2021
Indeed, Saunders will likely need the help of the judges if he is to upset the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world. Canelo has never been knocked down during his spectacular career, a trend that is heavily favoured (1.14) to continue on Saturday night. Conversely, sports bettors should be jumping on the odds that Saunders goes down at least once (1.57), with a $20 bet at Betway paying out 31.42.