ARLINGTON, Texas – Billy Joe Saunders went face to face with Canelo Alvarez on Friday afternoon, a lot closer than the smart southpaw plans to stand Saturday night.
Eventually, Alvarez and Saunders were separated at a weigh-in held outside of AT&T Stadium, where their 12-round, 168-pound title unification fight will take place Saturday night.
Moments earlier, Alvarez, 30, stepped on the Texas Combative Sports Program’s scale at 167.4 pounds. Saunders, 31, officially weighed 167.8 pounds.
Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KOs), of Guadalajara, Mexico, and Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs), of Hatfield, England, will fight for Alvarez’s WBA and WBC super middleweight titles and Saunders’ WBO belt.
Their fight Saturday night is expected to draw a crowd that could approach 70,000 at the home stadium of the Dallas Cowboys.
Regardless, promoter Eddie Hearn announced Thursday that ticket sales have surpassed the indoor record for boxing attendance in the United States. That standard has stood for 42 years, since a crowd of 63,352 attended the heavyweight championship rematch between Muhammad Ali and Leon Spinks in September 1978 at The Superdome in New Orleans.
The crowd Saturday night also will be the biggest for a single sporting event in the U.S. since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020.
Alvarez-Saunders will be the main event of an eight-fight card. The official weights for the seven fights on the Alvarez-Saunders undercard are listed below.
DAZN (8 p.m. EDT; 1 a.m. BST)
Elwin Soto (18-1, 12 KOs), Mexicali, Mexico, 107.8 pounds vs. Katsunari Takayama (32-8, 12 KOs, 1 NC), Osaka, Japan, 107.6 pounds, 12 rounds for Soto’s WBO junior flyweight title.
Kieron Conway (16-1-1, 3 KOs), Northampton, England, 154 pounds vs. Souleymane Cissokho (12-0, 8 KOs), Bagnolet, France, 153.6 pounds, 10 rounds, junior middleweights.
Frank Sanchez (17-0, 13 KOs), Guantanamo, Cuba, 237.6 pounds vs. Nagy Aguilera (21-10, 14 KOs), Newburgh, New York, 238.2 pounds, 10 rounds, heavyweights.
DAZN’s YouTube channel (5:30 p.m. EDT; 10:30 p.m. BST)
Marc Castro (2-0, 2 KOs), Fresno, California, 132.4 pounds vs. Irving Macias Castillo (9-1, 6 KOs), Monterrey, Mexico, 127.6 pounds, 6 rounds, lightweights.
Keyshawn Davis (2-0, 2 KOs), Norfolk, Virginia, 138 pounds vs. Jose Antonio Meza (6-4, 1 KO), Gomez Palacio, Mexico, 138 pounds, 6 rounds, junior welterweights.
Christian Alan Gomez Duran (19-2-1, 17 KOs), Guadalajara, Mexico, 146.4 pounds vs. Xavier Wilson (11-2-1, 1 KO), San Antonio, 147.8 pounds, welterweights.
Kelvin Davis (1-0, 1 KO), Norfolk, Virginia, 143.8 pounds vs. Jan Marsalek (8-2, 7 KOs), Pardubice, Czech Republic, 140.4 pounds, 4 rounds, welterweights.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.