Saul "Canelo" Alvarez is set to return to the ring on Saturday, May 2 in Las Vegas where he will fight Billy Joe Saunders in a battle to unify super middleweight titles, according to ESPN and The Athletic. Alvarez is making a return to the 168-pound division one fight after a jump to light heavyweight where he captured the WBO championship with a thunderous knockout of Sergey Kovalev. The victory allowed Alvarez to claim a title in a fourth weight class.
Now, Alvarez returns to super middleweight where he won a secondary WBA championship in December 2018 by knocking out Rocky Fielding in the third round. Facing Saunders gives Alvarez the opportunity to truly lay claim to having held world championships in four divisions with the Brit's WBO crown on the line.
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The journey to this fight announcement has been filled with twists and turns, including a variety of potential opponents and locations floated, including the surprising idea of battling Ryota Murata in Japan. Ultimately, the decision came down to facing Saunders or Callum Smith.
Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) captured the WBO super middleweight title this past May with a decision win over Shefat Isufi one fight after moving up in weight after three successful defenses of the WBO middleweight belt. In November, he successfully defended the super middleweight belt with an 11th round stoppage of Marcelo Esteban Coceres.
Saunders has had harsh words for Canelo in trying to bait the Mexican superstar into a fight, including a tirade that included the use of a homophobic slur in describing Alvarez's alleged use of moving between weight classes to avoid fighters.
In February, Saunders told World Boxing News of a potential fight, "May 2, you know against Canelo. It's a big fight if it happens, it happens. If it don't, it don't. It would be nice to land the Canelo fight to show people how good I am."