AT&T Stadium, home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, will host boxing’s world super-middleweight title fight between Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders on May 8, with over 60,000 fans expected to be in attendance.
The fight will see Mexico’s Alvarez seek to defend his WBC, WBA Super and Ring Magazine titles, with Britain’s Saunders looking to defend his WBO crown. An attendance of 60,000-plus would mark the biggest sporting crowd in the US since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last March.
Such an attendance would be possible after Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently said that businesses in the state can operate at full capacity. Texas’ statewide mask mandate has also been lifted despite the ongoing risks posed by COVID-19.
Earlier this month, the Texas Rangers Major League Baseball team detailed plans to open the 40,300-seat Globe Life Field at full capacity when the new season gets underway next month. The relaxed restrictions in Texas also allowed the Cowboys themselves to average over 28,000 fans per game at AT&T Stadium during the 2020 regular season – significantly more than the next highest NFL team.
Cowboys owner, president and general manager, Jerry Jones, said: “We are proud to host a boxing match of this magnitude as we welcome back Canelo Alvarez to AT&T Stadium to take on Billy Joe Saunders.
“AT&T Stadium was built to house the greatest sporting events on the planet, and we feel we have another incredible boxing event on the horizon with this matchup taking place in Arlington on May 8.”
Eddie Hearn, managing director of promoter Matchroom Sport, added: “It’s an absolute honour to bring this huge event to the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on May 8. Last year Canelo missed out on his historic Cinco De Mayo fight, and to bring over 60,000 fans together at this iconic stadium this year is a dream come true.
“This fight is the biggest of 2021 so far with Canelo looking to unify the division once more against undefeated two-weight world champion Billy Joe Saunders. We want to thank Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys and AT&T Stadium for their efforts to bring this global event to their stunning facility and we look forward to giving the fans a momentous occasion and a Cinco de Mayo celebration they will never forget.”
Pre-sale tickets for the fight will begin tomorrow (Tuesday), with general sale to begin on Friday. Saunders will be the fourth Brit to face Alvarez and the second to do so at AT&T Stadium after Liam Smith was defeated at the venue in September 2016.
Alvarez has fought in Texas on four previous occasions, with the Alamadome in San Antonio and Minute Maid Park in Houston each hosting two bouts.