Unified Super Middleweight titleholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KOs) remains fixated on his goal of becoming an undisputed champion at 168 pounds.
The Mexican star will take another step towards achieving that goal on Saturday night when he meets WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) live on DAZN from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. And although some feel as if the undefeated Saunders could provide Alvarez with some unique challenges, Canelo believes the British southpaw will be gifted with a level of competition he isn’t quite used to.
“I’m not the same guy from five, six years ago, I’m different, I have experience, I’m a more mature boxer,” said Alvarez on a recent edition of The Last Stand Podcast with Brian Custer. “So he can say whatever he wants, but he’s going to be in a different level fight.”
Canelo, who’s widely considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in boxing, will be fighting for the third time in five months when he enters the ring on Saturday night. After being off for the entirety of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he returned in December and dominated Calum Smith to win the WBA (Super), Ring Magazine, and WBC Super Middleweight titles. He then stopped Avni Yildirim in a stay busy fight in February.
Should he get by Saunders, which he’s favored to do, Alvarez will own three of the four recognized alphabet titles at Super Middleweight, leaving IBF titleholder Caleb Plant as the only challenge left standing in his way of becoming undisputed.
And to no surprise, that’s who Canelo will target if all goes to plan this weekend in Texas.
“That’s what I want, all of the titles in this division,” he said. “My first move is Billy Joe Saunders, of course, I need to win, and then the next champion is Caleb Plant, and that’s the goal.”
Having already held titles in multiple divisions, Alvarez will only further his legacy if he can fully unify the Super Middleweight division. After achieving that goal, there will still be big fights for him in the division, but there will also likely be exciting challenges in other weight classes, including 175 pounds and perhaps even 160 pounds, where Alvarez previously campaigned.
A move back to Middleweight is unlikely, but a jump back to Light Heavyweight could always be possible. Canelo, however, appears content to cement his legacy at 168 pounds for the remainder of his career.
“Maybe until the end of my career,” he said of competing at Super Middleweight.