With indoor fireworks, three national anthems and a mariachi band, you could have easily forgotten the reason why everyone was here was a boxing match.
But when ring announcer Michael Buffer rolled out his trademarked, “Let’s get ready to ruuuuuuuuuumble,” the record crowd was reminded why they were all there.
On Saturday night at AT&T Stadium, 73,126 came to watch Mexico’s favorite son, Canelo Alvarez, fight Billy Joe Saunders of the United Kingdom for the super middleweight title.
It’s the largest crowd ever for an indoor boxing event in the U.S., and largest crowd in North America since the start of the COVID closures and restrictions that began in March 2020.
The previous record in the U.S. was 63,350 for the Muhammad Ali-Leon Spinks rematch in 1978. It was the third largest crowd for an indoor boxing match ever.
If six of those in attendance were there to support Saunders that number seems high.
Canelo likes to fight in Texas to attract fans from his native Mexico, and it sounded as if every single person in the place was there for Alvarez.
Saunders was an underdog but he kept up with Canelo through the first seven rounds. In the eighth, however, Canelo started to land some heavy punches including one that cut Saunders’ right eye.
The fight was stopped after the eighth round, and Canelo won the super unified middleweight title.
Saunders’ camp said the fighter could not see, and he could not go out for the ninth round. Saunders was taken to a local hospital for what his camp said was a fractured orbital bone.