Welterweight superstar Manny Pacquiao revealed his admiration for Canelo Alvarez after witnessing the Mexican blast out Billy Joe Saunders.
Pacquiao, who holds world title victories in eight weight divisions, watched the fight live as it happened and was impressed by what he saw.
Canelo, himself a four-division ruler, allowed Saunders to get into the fight for the three previous rounds before detonating in the eighth.
Using solid body shots to soften up his British opponent, Canelo saw the way Saunders ducked to avoid the headshots. He then chose a combination of both to land a sickening blow finally.
Saunders’ cheek exploded inside his face required surgery upon arrival at the hospital. He could be out for the rest of 2021.
As for the Filipino Senator, he was in awe of Canelo like the rest of us.
“Those body shots by Canelo,” said Pacquaio with a shocked face emoji. He added at the final bell: “And still… congrats, Canelo!”
Those body shots by Canelo. ???? #CaneloSaunders
— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) May 9, 2021
Speaking to DAZN post-fight, Canelo stated he knew what would happen all along.
“As I said beforehand, the fight was going to develop by the seventh or eighth round. That’s what happened,” Canelo said.
“But it wasn’t as difficult as I expected. That’s where I take note that my preparation is good, and I improve day by day.
“The fight I was winning round-by-round. I told you, my fight would develop after six or seven rounds. But I started getting adjusted quickly.
“I knew that this [the eighth] was going to be the final round. But I knew it. I think I broke his cheek, and I knew he wasn’t going to come out [for the ninth]. That was it.
“I have the best trainer [in Eddy Reynoso]. He tells me, “do this,” and I do it.”
On what’s next for him, the 30-year-old added: “[Caleb Plant] That’s the plan – for the belt. I’m coming, my friend.”
Sadly, anyone hoping for a Canelo vs. Pacquiao fight in the future will be disappointed. Pacquiao has no plans to fight above 147.
Canelo, however, intends on moving up again once he’s fully unified at 168.
Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America since 2018. And a member of the Sports Journalists’ Association. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.