ARLINGTON – Canelo Alvarez seemed amused by all the drama.
Alvarez, pound-for-pound, the best fighter in boxing, will defend his WBA and WBC super middleweight titles against WBO champ Billy Joe Saunders in a unification fight Saturday night at AT&T Stadium.
It’s the first major event where a stadium will be fully opened during the coronavirus pandemic. And that’s not the only thing going to be open.
The ring size, a point of contention from Saunders’ camp will increase from 20 feet to 22 feet. Also, Saunders, from the United Kingdom, didn’t want any judges from Texas for the fight, despite Alvarez being from Mexico.
“Yeah, he wanted an English judge,” Alvarez said with a chuckle on Thursday. “It was the (judges), the ring, it was a lot of excuses. We knew what kind of person he was. The only thing I’m focused on is winning.”
The only Texas tie for the main event is referee Mark Calo-oy, from San Antonio. The three judges are based in California, Connecticut and Nevada.
“I just think he’s going to be bumping into the wrong man on Saturday night to be going home with those titles,” Saunders said. “We’re very happy with the panel, the judges, very experience judges. I’m sure it’s going to be fair. I’m looking forward to a very, very good fight but most definitely the win.”
Alvarez agreed with a statement that Saunders already lost the fight because he’s worried about the judges and sought a bigger ring.
“Yes, I’ve always said that,” Alvarez said when asked does Saunders have a loser’s mentality. “It’s like they’re losing ahead of time. You can see that in his attitude. He’s an insecure person.”
Fight crowd to set record
Promoter Eddie Heard said Saturday’s fight has already sold 65,000 tickets and when luxury seats are counted during the fight, it’s possible 71,000 fans will attend.
“They’re not going to give us anymore tickets,” Hearn said.
It would be the largest indoor boxing match in U.S. history, surpassing the Muhammad Ali-Leon Spinks rematch that drew 63,352 at the Superdome in New Orleans in 1978.
Hearn said the roof will be closed at AT&T Stadium.