By: Hans Themistode
Fighting on the elite level has provided fighters with more time for leisurely fun.
Normally, when a fighter first jumps onto the scene, they can find themselves fighting anywhere from five to ten times per year. Once they’ve established themselves on the very good to elite level, the ring appearances are few and far between. On most occasions, fighters at the very top of their respective divisions enter the ring twice during a calendar year. Others, elect to fight just once.
In short, after fighting for most of their lives, boxers enjoy sitting back and enjoying the fruits of their labor.
For Canelo Alvarez, having just taken care of business against Avni Yildirim via third-round stoppage this past weekend, the unified super middleweight champion has already secured his next opponent in Billy Joe Saunders. The two are locked in to face off on May 8th, ten weeks from now.
While that may seem like a quick turnaround for most, Alvarez revealed that he never usually takes a lot of time off.
“I’m always training,” said Alvarez following his knockout over Yildirim at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Florida. “I’m active. Just one week off and come back to train and get ready for May 8th.”
According to Alvarez, his normal workload of fighting twice a year will be changed this time around. With the win over Yildirim already in his back pocket and with Saunders up next, Alvarez said he expects to likely fight two more times this year. Those dates would be in September and then in December to close out the year.
In Saunders, Alvarez faces one of the more trickier styles in the entire division. The WBO titlist has gained the respect of both the Mexican star and his trainer, Eddy Reynoso.
“Saunders is a very difficult opponent,” said Alvarez. “He brings a lot of different qualities to the ring but I am a fighter with a lot of experience and I’ll be ready come May 8th.”
The British native was last in the ring in early December doing what he does best, outboxing his opponents and making them look silly as they missed shot after shot. Martin Murray, his most recent foe, continued that trend as he managed to win only two rounds on one judge’s scorecards but was completely shutout on the remaining two scorecards.
Performances such as those, has led Saunders to a showdown with the consensus best fighter in the world in roughly two and a half months.