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    Canelo Alvarez has a habit of beating up on British opponents

    Forgive British boxing fans if they dread the thought of Canelo Alvarez.

    The Mexican star’s victory over Callum Smith in December pushed his record to 6-0 against opponents from the U.K. in what we call his elite period, which started with his first fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, against Jose Miguel Cotto.

    That made British fighters Alvarez’s primary victims. The Mexican star is 5-1 against Americans as an elite fighter, with the one setback coming against Floyd Mayweather.

    And Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KOs) isn’t necessarily finished picking on the Brits: He’s a 6-1 favorite to defeat Billy Joe Saunders in their 168-pound title-unification fight Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (DAZN).

    He will probably run his record against U.K. fighters to 7-0 and counting, meaning fully one quarter of the beaten men he has left in his wake during the elite period will have been British.

    And as if that isn’t bad enough, none of the previous six fights were competitive. Here is a quick look at each of them:

    • Matthew Hatton, UD (2011): The brother of Ricky Hatton lost every round on all three cards.
    • Ryan Rhodes, TKO 12 (2011): Rhodes was overmatched before he was finally stopped in the final round.
    • Amir Khan, KO 6 (2016): Khan held his own before the inevitable happened. A huge right hand ended the fight instantly.
    • Liam Smith, KO 9 (2016): Smith went down three times before he was stopped by a body shot.
    • Rocky Fielding, TKO 3 (2018): Fielding hit the canvas four times in an utter mismatch.
    • Callum Smith, UD (2020): Smith, Liam’s brother, won one round on two cards and (somehow) three on the third.

    Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) is confident he will buck the trend.

    “I’m the seventh Brit he’s faced,” he told talkSPORT. “He’s dealt with six of them very comfortably. The Brits like dancing and moving and thinking they’ve gotta run away, but I will be there for him to hit. I will be in range for him to hit.

    “I’ll be setting traps, the same as he’ll be setting traps. I don’t think running a million miles an hour is gonna do me any justice. … He’s not got the best engine in the world, Canelo. He’s very good at what he does, extremely good at what he does, but there’s faults there.

    “We’ve seen people try to run away and box him, we’ve seen people try to use the brawn, but we’ve only seen one man use his brain and that was Floyd Mayweather. Brain over brawn here. Brain wins this, technical thinking wins this.”

    Mexico (23) and the U.S. (12) are Alvarez’s Nos. 1 and 2 most-victimized countries if you count everyone he’s faced in his 58 pro fights. He fought mostly his countrymen and neighbors to the north as he developed into an elite fighter.

    ***

    Here are two lists. One, the countries of opponents in each of his 58 fights, including the loss to Mayweather and a draw with Kazakhstani Gennadiy Golovkin in their first fight. And, two, the countries of his opponents during his 26-fight elite period. Alvarez’s record against each nation is included.

    OVERALL (58 fights)

    • 23 Mexico (22-0-1)
    • 12 U.S. (11-1)
    • 6 U.K. (6-0)
    • 4 Argentina (4-0)
    • 3 Puerto Rico (3-0)
    • 2 Kazakhstan (1-0-1)
    • 2 Russia (2-0)
    • 1 Brazil (1-0)
    • 1 Cuba (1-0)
    • 1 Colombia (1-0)
    • 1 Dominican Republic (1-0)
    • 1 South Africa (1-0)
    • 1 Turkey (1-0)

    ELITE PERIOD (26 fights)

    • 6 U.K. (6-0)
    • 6 U.S. (5-1)
    • 3 Mexico (3-0)
    • 3 Puerto Rico (3-0)
    • 2 Argentina (2-0)
    • 2 Kazakhstan (1-0-1)
    • 1 Cuba (1-0)
    • 1 Russia (1-0)
    • 1 South Africa (1-0)
    • 1 Turkey (1-0)

    This article was originally published on boxingjunkie.usatoday.com

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