Billy Joe Saunders is dismissing Chris Eubank Jr by referring to him as an “irrelevant” fighter following his taunts over his recent stoppage defeat against Canelo Alvarez on May 8th.
Former two-division world champion Saunders’ old foe Eubank Jr (30-2, 22 KOs) had a field day trashing him after he retired on his stool after the eighth round against WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Canelo (56-1-2, 38 KOs) last month.
Eubank Jr felt that Saunders should have come out for the eighth round and gone out on his shield rather than quitting on his stool in the corner after suffering a right eye injury in the 8th from a big uppercut from Canelo.
Although Saunders is said to have had eye surgery to repair his orbital bone that was said to be fractured in three places, many boxing fans doubt that he had the injury.
They maintain that the absence of x-rays suggests that Billy Joe never had a bad eye injury.
In other words, Saunders just had a puffed-up eye and wanted no part of continuing the fight with Canelo after tasting some of his power in the eighth.
Billy Joe reacts to Eubank Jr taunting him
“He’s never been world champion, still fighting British level fighters, nowhere near world level,” said Saunders to Talksport in reacting to Chris Eubank Jr taunting him after his loss to Canelo.
“He has to try and sell himself I suppose, but he’s just irrelevant to everybody.”
Billy Joe is correct that the 31-year-old Eubank Jr has never won a major world title during his 10-year professional career, but he clearly hasn’t been moved as skillfully by his promoters as he was.
Saunders has been put in the perfect spots to win two world titles with the way his promoters matched him. Billy Joe won his two world titles against Andy Lee and Shefat Isufi. Those are guys that Eubank Jr would have beaten if he’d been matched against them in world titles.
So when Saunders tries to put himself above Eubank Jr by saying he won world titles, what he’s leaving out is the fact that his promoters put him in the ideal spots to win those belts.
Had Saunders needed to fight a guy like David Benavidez or Gennadiy Golovkin for his two world titles, he obviously would have never been a champion. Saunders could never beat those types of fighters.
They’re much too good for Saunders, and he likely would have been broken down and stopped by both GGG and Benavidez.
The reality is, the only reason Saunders became a two-time world champion and Eubank Jr didn’t is because of the careful match-making being done on his behalf by his promoters. As the saying goes, ‘When you stand on someone’s shoulders you can see far.’
Saunders insists he didn’t quit
“I wanted to go on. I could hear Ben [Davison] telling me it was over,” Saunders said about what happened after the eighth round against Canelo.
“I was shaking my head to say, ‘No way,’ I’m willing to put down the life. Never would I ever say, ‘Nah, I’m finished, I’m done.'”
The perception is out there already that Saunders quit on his stool against Canelo, and there’s not much he can do about that to change the minds of the fans.
People saw Saunders shake his head when he was being questioned by his corner after round eight, and they assumed that he was being asked, ‘Do you want to continue?’
Given Saunders’ utterly defeated-looking body language, it doesn’t fit in what he’s saying that he was telling his corner he wanted to continue. It doesn’t pass the laugh test.
Fans would probably respect Saunders more if he just admitted that he quit on his stool rather than protesting that he didn’t.
Billy Joe contemplating retirement
“My dad will have a big say, it’s 50/50,” said Saunders on the retirement question. “Whether I think, I will have one or a couple more, it’s got to be the right fights.
“If he says, ‘Leave it, son,’ that’s probably what I’ll do,” said Billy Joe.
Well, this is no surprise that Saunders is considering retirement. If Saunders stuck around, he’d have to beat someone good to get another title shot.
This writer doubts Saunders has the talent or the stamina to do it. Eubank Jr would likely wear Saunders down and stop him at this point.