aul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez stopped Britain’s Billy Joe Saunders to move one step closer to super-middleweight domination on Saturday night.
The Mexican pound-for-pound king produced a typically spiteful eighth-round onslaught in a highly competitive unification showdown, with Saunders failing to rise from his stool for the start of the ninth after sustaining nasty damage to his right eye socket that left him unable to see, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.
Victory in front of a bumper crowd of more than 70,000 people at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas saw Canelo add the WBO gold to his collection of WBA (Super), WBC, and The Ring super-middleweight titles.
He now has Caleb Plant’s IBF crown firmly in his sights as he looks to become the division’s first ever undisputed champion.
While Saunders gave a solid account of himself before the eighth round, he was behind on all three judges’ scorecards – 78-74, 77-75, 78-74.