Billy Joe Saunders will be back in the ring as soon as his recovery allows following successful surgery to repair significant damage to his face.
The Briton gave a good account of himself and showcased his skills against Canelo Alvarez until caught by crushing uppercuts during the eighth round.
Two of those mammoth shots crushed the eye socket of Saunders, who was unable to continue after going back to his corner.
Trainer Mark Tibbs pulled the two-weight world champion out due to the dangers of Saunders taking another blow in the same area. Blindness can occur if those kinds of injuries receive more punishment.
The 31-year-old headed straight to the hospital before going under the knife before assuring his fans he’d return to action whenever possible.
“Thanks to everyone for the messages. [I have a] Broken eye socket and broken cheekbone in three places, [but the] operation yesterday all went well,” he said.
“You win some and lose some. I didn’t feel out of my League but got caught with a good shot and couldn’t see. Ben got the corner to pull it.
“Thank you all who watched. I’ll be back. God bless you all,” added the Hatfield man.
BILLY JOE SAUNDERS STATEMENT
The World Boxing Council released a statement regarding Saunders and wished their title challenger all the best for the future.
“Last Saturday, the super middleweight champion of the World Boxing Council, Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez, defeated Englishman Billy Joe Saunders in a great fight at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
“The combat was intense, with both men giving their absolute best to provide a great show. Saunders suffered a fractured eye socket from a Canelo uppercut in the eighth round, which prevented him from seeing clearly.
“In the corner, his coach Mark Tibbs took the humane, responsible, and correct decision to stop the fight. He did not want to expose his pupil and friend to irreversible damage.
“Billy Joe had to undergo surgery to repair a triple fracture in the orbital area of his right eye.
“He proved he`s world-class, facing the Pound For Pound Supreme Fighter, putting on a great and memorable show.
“The WBC family recognizes the courage of Billy Joe Saunders and wishes him a speedy plus successful recovery, reiterating our full support.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn had previously stated Saunders faced a long time away from the sport. Saunders will hope to get back out before the end of 2021.