In his latest quest to cement his place as unquestionably the best boxer in the world, Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will take on the talented and unbeaten WBO Super-Middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders in front of a 60,000 crowd at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium. Looking for value in the Canelo vs. Saunders odds? Read on to inform your Canelo vs. Saunders predictions.
A close look at the Canelo vs. Saunders odds
Billy Joe Saunders
The 1X2 odds suggest this is a fight that Pinnacle is expecting Canelo to win, and the odds propose the Mexican has approximately an 80% chance of victory. The Total Rounds is set at 10.5, with Over 10.5 rounds priced at 1.588*, which means Pinnacle is favouring the fight to go the 12 round distance.
Date: Saturday, May 9
Venue: Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium, Texas
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Canelo vs. Saunders: Big fight statistics
Canelo holds a record of 55 wins, 1 loss, and 2 draws, with 37 of those wins coming via knockout, whilst Saunders has a record of 30 wins, 0 losses, and 0 draws, with 14 of those wins coming via knockout.
The stats suggest Canelo has an advantage in power over Saunders, with a 67% knock-out percentage compared to 47% for Saunders. The Brit has a height advantage of two inches over Canelo and a half-inch reach advantage. Canelo has boxed at a much higher level and has amassed 28 more fights, and has boxed a huge 203 more professional rounds, with the Mexican accumulating 417 rounds to Saunders' 214 rounds.
Will activity be key?
Canelo has recently admitted that he is loving being so active during the pandemic after his recent easy title defence against Avni Yildirim and this could be a key factor that ends up deciding the eventual outcome of this fight against Saunders.
Betting against the Mexican is almost a definitive way to lose money if his fights go to the scorecards
Saunders does have the ability to beat any Middleweight or Super-Middleweight in the world, but he needs to be active and that’s one thing he has not been recently. When you are fighting at the highest level, like he will be against Canelo on May 7, the difference between winning and losing can be marginal and his lack of activity could be that deciding factor - especially when Saunders will need to be elusive and constantly moving for all 12 rounds if it goes that far.
Saunders did defeat the shop-worn Martin Murray in December but, before that, he had not boxed since November 2019, and that was a performance in which he looked flat and could have lost (against a fighter he would normally have taken apart within a couple of rounds). So, it’s definitely a factor that needs to be considered when betting on the outcome of this fight.
In contrast, Canelo will be entering the ring off the back of a prolonged run of activity – including the aforementioned victory over Yildirim.
Betting against the 'cash cow' Canelo Alvarez
An important point that has to always be considered when betting on a Canelo Alvarez fight is the potential implications of betting against the ‘cash cow’. A ‘cash cow’ in boxing terminology is a boxer who can make their promoter and each person involved with their team extreme amounts of revenue through various avenues. It is an extremely risky betting strategy to bet against the ‘cash cow’ (in this case Canelo) and should only be recommended if you are convinced that the fighter you are betting on (in this case Saunders) is a superior opponent.
Some bettors will bet on Canelo not because they are confident he will win a certain fight, but because the chances of the judges being generous to the ‘cash cow’ are high, especially if a lot of the rounds end up being closely contested.
If there is a lesson over Canelo’s career that bettors have learned, which needs to be reiterated, is that betting against the Mexican is almost a definitive way to lose money if his fights go to the scorecards, which they so often do at the top level. So, it is most certainly worth doing your research into this element of Canelo’s fights before placing your bets.
What did the Callum Smith fight tell us?
Canelo will come into this fight with Saunders as the betting favourite, and that is justly deserved after the Mexican’s recent run of dominating wins against mostly high-class opposition, most notably Callum Smith. The win against Smith was so convincing and so dominating that it is extremely difficult to make a serious case for Saunders to be able to overcome that kind of quality in a 12-round fight, especially with his far-from-ideal preparation in terms of quality opposition.
The difference between winning and losing at the highest level can be marginal and Saunders lack of activity could be that deciding factor
The Brit does bring quite a few fundamentals to the table that could make it a difficult night's work for Canelo, as the Mexican has had a few difficulties with southpaws in the past, as well as opponents who can move and not stand right in front of him. So, it will be interesting to see how that plays out but the 30-year-old is now so developed as a fighter and has learned to cut the ring off so well that it’s almost as if his opponents are trapped when they fight him. Saunders will have to be completely on his A-game to nullify that threat.
Saunders’ biggest advantage in this fight will likely come in the early rounds when he is fresh and active. He will need to take advantage of the time Alvarez spends trying to figure out his southpaw style and bank the early rounds if he is to stand a chance of dethroning the Mexican (something that Smith could not manage). This will allow him to get into his rhythm and feel comfortable and will make Canelo work as much as possible outside of his comfort zone.
Once Alvarez does manage to figure out timing and space as he did so effortlessly against Smith, he will look to dominate this fight and that is one thing Saunders cannot allow to happen - highlighting the kind of level that the Brit is being pitched in at here.
Canelo vs. Saunders: Where is the value?
Whilst this fight does provide an aspect of intrigue that is different from previous Canelo fights, it should follow a similar pattern to some of the Mexican’s more challenging assignments. Saunders is the type of fighter that could give Canelo problems and his ring IQ is good enough to win rounds and be competitive but his lack of recent activity at the highest level, as well as fighting a man who is firmly in the prime of his career, represents a huge task for the Brit.
It seems that to be competitive with Canelo is getting more difficult by the fight as the 30-year-old has developed into an outstanding elite-level all-round fighter. The Mexican likes to come forward but he is also now very good defensively, keeping his hands high and coming in low to plant his feet and whip his punches in hard. In his last three fights (excluding Yildirim) the pound-for-pound star has beaten Danny Jacobs, Sergey Kovalev, and Callum Smith - sit that alongside the 24 rounds he shared with Gennady Golovkin, and the difference in opposition compared to Saunders is startling.
Saunders will certainly be able to frustrate Canelo whilst he is fresh in rounds 1-6, but once the Mexican discovers his tempo and rhythm, he has the ability and the strength to make the WBO champion go into a shell and fight behind a jab to avoid getting knocked out - something that can be encouraging if you want to bet on Alvarez to win the fight on points.
Saunders is a very good fighter, make no mistake about it, with high-level amateur experience which will stand in him in good stead in this fight but Canelo is a truly special fighter, and when you combine that with his higher level of activity over the past two years, it should ultimately be the difference between the two. Expect the Mexican to close the range gradually as the rounds progress and work his way inside, enforcing his strength on Saunders before letting his hands fly in combination punches to control the fight from the midway point and win via decision or a late stoppage between rounds 9-12.