On Saturday night at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, the WBC, WBO, WBA super middleweight titles were unified when Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) stopped Billy Joe Saunders (30-1, 14 KOs) in eight rounds.
Saunders gave Canelo some fits, but the contest came to an end before the start of the ninth - when Saunders was unable to continue due to a right eye injury suffered in the eight.
Canelo was not surprised when the contest was stopped, because he felt something break in Saunders' face when the punch connected in the area.
When the eight round had officially concluded, the Mexican star went back to trainer corner and told trainer Eddy Reynoso that Saunders was going to retire on the stool.
"I knew it. The truth is, I knew it," Canelo told DAZN. "I think I broke his cheek and I knew he wasn't going to come out. I told [trainer] Eddy [Reynoso] he's not coming out, because I broke his cheek, and that was it.
Canelo explained that it took a few rounds to figure Saunders out, before the right adjustments were made. He felt the fight was going to end in the eight round, which it did.
"I was winning round by round. The truth is as I told you. My fight would develop after six or seven rounds. But I started getting adjusted really quick. I knew that this was going to be the final round," Canelo said.
With three of the world titles around his waist at 168-pounds, Canelo will now turn his attention to IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant.
"That's the plan," Canelo said. "I'm coming my friend. I hope that fight will be made easy."