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Canelo Alvarez forces Billy Joe Saunders to quit after the eighth round, wins WBO title

canelo-alvarez-unified-champion-matchroom-ftr Michelle Farsi/Matchroom Boxing

Billy Joe Saunders was boxing well and hanging with Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez through seven rounds admirably.

However, a stinging right uppercut to the eye changed all that during the eighth round.

Canelo wound up and landed the punch perfectly, leaving Saunders' right eye practically swollen shut.

According to Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, the vicious uppercut fractured Saunders' eye socket . The damage forced Saunders to quit on his stool following the eighth round, giving Canelo the TKO victory and WBO world super-middleweight title, bringing him one step closer to undisputed glory.

Saunders seemed to be gaining confidence during the fifth and sixth rounds — the latter having the British fighter even sticking his tongue out, mocking Canelo.

But that confidence was crushed during the eighth round, and Alvarez knew that he had the victory in tow.

"I knew it. The truth is I knew it. I think I broke his cheek, and I knew he wasn't going to come out," Alvarez told DAZN's Chris Mannix after his victory. "I went into the corner and told Eddie (Hearn) he isn't coming out."

Added Hearn about Saunders, who suffered his first pro loss: "He couldn't see."

Despite seemingly being stifled by Saunders' southpaw style during the fifth and sixth rounds, Canelo said the win was "not as difficult as I expected." He had walked Saunders down effectively early in the fight, landing power shots and arguably took back momentum in the seventh round, before unloading on the uppercut to end the night.

Now, the missing piece of Alvarez's attempted undisputed glory would come in the form of a shot against IBF titleholder Caleb Plant.

"That's the plan," said Canelo (56-1-2, 38 KOs) about facing Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) next.

Here's how the Canelo vs. Saunders main card went.

 

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Frank Sanchez wins on controversial unanimous decision

Sanchez throws a right hook, and the momentum carries it forward, just barely grazing behind Aguilera's head in the sixth round. Aguilera has a delayed reaction, walks toward the ropes, and falls down, seemingly in a world of pain. The crowd here at AT&T Stadium believes Aguilera laid it on thick.

This bout is being called on an unintentional foul — if we can even call it that. Since it made it past the fourth round, we're going to the scorecards.

All three judges score it 60-54 for your winner by unanimous decision, Frank Sanchez. The crowd let Aguilera hear all the boos.

 

Sanchez, Aguilera are locked in

Both Sanchez and Aguilera have their right hands loaded up, looking for the opportunity to detonate it. Interesting bout heading into the fifth round.

Heavyweights kick the main card off

We launch this main card with a heavyweight tilt between Frank Sanchez and Nagy Aguilera.

The Canelo Alvarez-Billy Joe Saunders main card is live!

Grab some refreshments, get comfortable and keep it locked here for all live updates, results, and highlights from the Canelo-Saunders main card.

 

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