'Disgusting to see': America in disbelief over disturbing scenes

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
A record crowd, pictured here watching Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders.
A record crowd of 73,126 watched Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders at AT&T Stadium. Image: Getty

Social media users have expressed concerns after a record crowd packed into AT&T Stadium in Texas to watch Canelo Alvarez beat Billy Joe Saunders on Saturday.

Alvarez stopped Saunders in the eighth round to unify three super middleweight titles in front of the largest American crowd in history to watch an indoor boxing event.

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Four-weight world champion Alvarez retained his World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association titles and seized Saunders' World Boxing Organization belt when the previously undefeated Briton retired on his stool after taking a beating in the eighth round.

Alvarez won by technical knockout after Saunders' corner called a halt to the brutality.

A total of 73,126 fans packed into AT&T Stadium, which was also the biggest crowd to watch an American sports event since the coronavirus pandemic.

While some expressed joy and happiness to see some degree of normalcy return, others were fearful of what may come from the record crowd considering Covid is still a major problem in the States.

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It's not the first event in recent weeks to open up to fans like normal. 

UFC 261 on April 24 sold out the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, almost instantly. 

The 15,000 fans who purchased tickets, however, were met with a very stark warning that attending could lead to “death”or other “permanent damage” from the coronavirus.

The United States averaged more than 42,000 new cases on Saturday, according to The New York Times, and about 45 per cent of Americans have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine.

While case numbers are significantly down from there they were at their worst back in January, the pandemic is clearly not over and not even half of the country is vaccinated yet. 

And based off videos and photos from the fight, social-distancing protocols and mask-wearing were non-existent.

The crowd, pictured here cheering before Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders' fight.
A general view as the crowd cheers before Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders' fight. (Image: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA/AAP)

Billy Joe Saunders suffers brutal eye injury

Saunders didn't budge from his stool, saying he couldn't see out of his right eye which was badly swollen from Alvarez's precision blows.

Alvarez could sense victory in the eighth as he chased the southpaw around the ring waving his arms in the air as if to let the pro-Mexican crowd know that the end was near.

"I knew it," Alvarez said. "I think I broke his cheek. 

"He didn't come out to fight because I broke his cheek."

Saunders headed from the ring to the hospital to get medical treatment on his injured eye.

The previous largest indoor crowd for a boxing card in the United States had been 63,350 for Muhammad Ali's rematch against Leon Spinks in 1978.

Alvarez, who improved to 56-1-2 with 38 knockouts, was ahead on all three judges' scorecards, 78-74, 78-74 and 77-75, when Saunders did not come out for the ninth round.

with agencies

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