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Canelo Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders Expected to Have 70K Fans, Eddie Hearn Says

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMay 7, 2021

Al Bello/Getty Images

Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn said they're expecting around 70,000 fans for Saturday night's fight between Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Hearn told TMZ Sports in an interview released Friday there will be COVID-19 precautions in place and that he thinks fans understand the typical protocols at this stage of the pandemic:

"We're not the first in terms of big numbers returning to Texas. All sports now have been bringing crowds back. You've seen no spikes because of that.

"There will be masks worn, mandatory, on Saturday night. I've noticed, to be honest with you, as a Brit coming into states that have opened up like Texas and Florida, people aren't going out there carefree and just ignoring rules.

"People are actually being sensible, and they will be Saturday night, and everyone will have a safe night."

Hearn added he recalls the electricity from the fans the last time Alvarez fought at AT&T Stadium, a September 2016 win over Liam Smith, and thinks this could top it.

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"We're gonna be just under 70,000. So it's gonna be incredible," he told TMZ. "I think I remember seeing Canelo box Liam Smith, and it was about 40,000 people there, and the atmosphere was just absolutely insane. This is gonna be a very, very special atmosphere."

Alvarez (55-1-2), the WBA, WBC and The Ring title-holder, and Saunders (30-0), the WBO champion, are set for a massive showdown in the super middleweight division.

It represents the toughest test for Alvarez since his back-to-back bouts against Gennady Golovkin in 2017 and 2018.

The 30-year-old Mexican superstar expressed extreme confidence despite Saunders' unblemished record.

"Yes, I've always said that," Alvarez replied when asked if Saunders has displayed 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."

Saunders warned Alvarez about the challenge he's set to face.

"You've never been in the ring with someone like me. You've never seen anybody with this heart," the 31-year-old southpaw said.

The crowd will likely be heavily weighted toward Canelo given AT&T Stadium's proximity to Mexico and the fact that Saunders hails from England.

Saturday's card is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET on DAZN, with the main event likely to get underway sometime between 11 p.m. and midnight.

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