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  • Canelo vs Saunders predictions and observations: 15 experts

Canelo vs Saunders predictions and observations: 15 experts

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Tonight, the face of boxing, Canelo Alvarez, will continue his quest to become the first undisputed world super middleweight champion in boxing history when he faces Billy Joe Saunders in a 168-pound unification bout at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tex. Canelo's WBA (Super), WBC, and The Ring super middleweight titles, along with Saunders' WBO 168-pound title, will be at-stake.

Who's your pick for Canelo vs Saunders?

FightHype and The Mayweather Channel interviewed a host of experts and we've listed the predictions and observations from fifteen of them below.

The prevailing takeaways: Although Saunders is credited for being a good pure boxer, most believe Canelo is in his prime, much improved from several years ago and a complete, all-around fighter who is unstoppable. They like Canelo's experience, punching power and overall skills, including his ability to walk guys down and effectively cut off the ring and don't think Saunders is experienced enough or strong enough to deal with Alvarez's many weapons.

One interesting comment: Demetrius Andrade said of Billy Joe, "He doesn't live and eat boxing the same way that some people do. You can tell from his outside living."

We can't comment on how Saunders lives but think it's a worthy intangible if accurate.

Fighters who live, eat and breathe boxing, such as Floyd Mayweather, Bernard Hopkins and Wladimir Klitschko, tend to perform better than fighters who, despite working hard in the gym, aren't obsessed with the sport and in staying in shape 24/7.

Canelo Alvarez certainly appears to have the level of dedication required to beat the best.

Second interesting comment: Former Alvarez foe Erislandy Lara insists Saunders can't win a close fight and must beat Canelo convincingly (leaving absolutely no doubt) to win on the scorecards.

The uncomfortable truth is, Canelo, as the A-side fighter, will enter the bout with a small scoring advantage. To beat a more popular foe on the big stage, the other guy must usually win decisively i.e. leave no doubt.

Sans rare exceptions, such as Pacquiao vs Bradley I, it's been that way in boxing for decades....

Ward vs Kovalev I, Leonard vs Hagler, De La Hoya vs Whitaker, De La Hoya vs Sturm, Mayweather vs Castillo I, Chavez vs Vera I, Ali vs Shavers, Ali vs Norton III, Ali vs Young, Leonard vs Hearns II (Draw), Pacquiao vs Marquez III, Marciano vs LaStarza I, Louis vs Walcott I, Holyfield vs Lewis I (draw), Holmes vs Carl Williams, Foreman vs Alex Stewart, JamesToney vs Tiberi, James Toney vs Johnson, Rios vs Abril, Garcia vs Herrera and Roy Jones vs Tarver I...

And the list goes on.

While judges insist they train themselves to ignore fighters' reputations and the cheering of the crowd, they are not robots. They are human and subject to human elements. 

Here are fifteen Canelo vs Saunders predictions:

Chris Arreola, elite boxer: I'm sure Billy Joe is going to try to keep him on the outside Canelo is one of those guys that is just relentless. It'll be a great knockout by Canelo if he catches him. FightHype 
Prediction: Canelo probably wins by KO

Paul Malignaggi, retired elite boxer: Don't matter what Saunders does, he's going to get robbed… Sanders can win that fight in our minds. It's a 50-50 fight [but] I don't think he can win on the scorecards at all FightHype
Prediction: Too close to call; beware of a Canelo robbery.

Joel Diaz, elite trainer: The advice I give Billy Joe is to be smart; don't be stupid in that ring. Don't try to be brave because Canelo hits hard with both hands and is unpredictable. Canelo is very smart; he set traps and if you fall into them you're done, FightHype 
Prediction: Canelo probably wins by KO  


Canelo vs Saunders Official FightSaga Page
WBC/WBA/WBO Super Middleweight Championship
(WBC/WBA - Canelo defending; WBO - Saunders defending)
May 8, 2021
AT&T Stadium
Arlington, TX

Broadcast: DAZN

Mike Tyson. legend: Yeah, I think he [Canelo] stands out alone. He learned so much from that Floyd Mayweather fight. Yeah, I'd like to see him fight that Charlo guy. That would be a good fight. I don't think that guy is strong enough but he's not afraid and he's smart enough to put up a good fight. FightHype.  
Prediction: Canelo 

Amir Khan, elite boxer, former Canelo opponent: Sanders is a big, heavy guy. He is a similar size to Canelo but I feel Canelo is just one step ahead of everyone. The guy is a beast and you can't disrespect him. The guy's dangerous. He's young, he's at the peak of his career. He’s pound-for-pound number one and I think no one is catching him in skill or power. He's got everything on his side. FightHype.  
Prediction: Canelo 

Danny Garcia, elite boxer: You know that's a tough fight, A lot of people think Canelo's going to walk through him. I think that's going to be a hard fight. Canelo always struggles with people who box and that dude is a thoroughbred boxer who on his toes all night. He can't punch but has great boxing skills and great angles… That's a good fight [and Saunders] can give him hell. FightHype.
Prediction: Too close to call.

Leo Santa Cruz, elite boxer: Billy Joe Saunders moves; he's a lefty with an awkward style I don’t think he has the power to stop Canelo. To stop Canelo you have to be strong and you have to have heavy hands to make him feel the power, but Billy Joe Saunders doesn't have the power. I think Canelo is going to break him down little by little he might end up taking him out. FightHype.  
Prediction: Canelo, possibly by KO.

Erislandy Lara, elite boxer, former Canelo opponent: Canelo has improved a lot there's no doubt about it. FightHype.
Prediction: Lara insists he deserved to nod in his 2014 bout with Canelo. Says Saunders must win convincingly (leaving absolutely no doubt) to win on the scorecards.

Teofimo Lopez, elite boxer: Does Billy Joe have a chance? No he doesn't but you know what, I'm not going to cut the man short like that. Everybody has a chance when they're in that ring so anything could happen. Do I believe he has the eye of the tiger to go out there and win? No - but do I believe he has a chance. Yeah, when you're in there it's different. Absolutely. FightHype
Prediction: Canelo

Demetrius Andrade, elite boxer: He went 12 rounds with Martin Murray. Go back go back and watch that fight. No disrespect to Martin Murray [but] the dog is not there. There's no dog. There are some people who talk the dog and some people fight the dog… Billy Joe is a straight talker. He will run and bounce around and throw these little soft jabs. And yeah, if you don't hit hard he'll try to get in the middle. Canelo has gotten technically better… his footwork… he's learned how to cut off the ring finally. He's throwing some hard shots. With Canelo, they know that they know we're going to walk him down. Billy Joe can only do so much. There is no power in his sh*t. He's sloppy with his sh*t. He doesn't live and eat boxing the same way that some people do. You can tell from his outside living. FightHype
Prediction: Canelo dominates.

Mikey Garcia, elite boxer: Saunders is a boxer. He moves around. He could make things more complicated. It might go the distance but I still think Canelo wins. He’s improved so much in the last couple years. After his first fight with Triple G is where I've seen the most Improvement … a better defense … a better offense… more confidence… he's stronger. In the first Triple G fight, something was missing. Something wasn't complete. But after that fight maybe that experience from that first fight really helped him. FightHype
Prediction: Canelo 

Badou Jack, elite boxer: Billy Joe Saunders is a good boxer. If he can step it up, if he can get to that level, you never know. But, I'll probably say Canelo [wins]. The Mayweather Channel
Prediction: Canelo.

Tyson Fury, elite boxer: Billy Joe's gonna kick his ass. I'm gonna go for a lopsided points decision. The Mayweather Channel.
Prediction: Saunders by convincing UD.

Johnathan Banks, former contender, trainer: If you go by the tradition of what Canelo has done to his last 2 or 3 opponents... The guys he picked were a little physically bigger than him.... But when he starts walking guys down, they're not fighting back. If Canelo's gonna walk Billy Joe Saunders down and he [Saunders] don't know how to fight back and back Canelo up, I think Canelo's gonna eventually dominate and end up stopping him probably. The Mayweather Channel
Prediction: Canelo probably wins by KO.

Antonio Zepeda, heavyweight, 2-0: Billy Joe has the best chance of everyone he's [Canelo] fought, excluding Floyd.... I think his style is the best match for Canelo but... that's a hard one to choose. I'm gonna go with Canelo but wouldn't be surprised if Billy Joe won. The Mayweather Channel
Prediction: Canelo, but an upset wouldn't be shocking.

Mike Leanardi (manager, adviser) I like Canelo. I think Saunders is an excellent boxer. The way I see Canelo and the trajectory he's on, the activity he's got, I don't see anybody at any reasonable weight class beating him. The Mayweather Channel
Prediction: Canelo

Please share your Canelo vs Saunders predictions below.

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