Eddie Hearn says Billy Joe Saunders is in discussions for a fight in September or October for his first action since his disappointing loss to Canelo Alvarez last May.
Billy Joe will need to take off weight for him to return to the ring, as recent photos of him show that he’s packed on some pounds in the last 12 months since his last fight.
Saunders has been out of action due to multiple fractures he suffered to his right eye socket during the Canelo fight. Billy Joe fought well in the first six rounds but then faded in the seventh and became stationary.
In the eighth round, Saunders leaned forward in front of Saunders with his hands down by his sides. Canelo then took advantage of the situation by nailing him with a hard uppercut, resulting in his right injury.
The scores were 115-114, 115-113, and 115-113. Just like in his fight with Canelo, Saunders gassed out at the midpoint in the fight and took punishment from Ryder.
“I’d like to see Billy Joe back in the ring,” said Eddie Hearn to Talksport Boxing. “We’re talking to him about possible fights in September or October.
“He must get back in the gym and take the weight off because he’s notorious for enjoying himself in between camps,” Hearn continued about Saunders. “But he’s a very good fighter.”
Saunders is an excellent fighter, but what’s held him back is frequent injuries and long layoffs. If not for the injury problems, Billy Joe would have had quite a few more fights and made more money.
For Saunders to fight in September or October, he’ll need to make it through training camp without going down with an ailment. Given his history, it’s debatable whether he’ll make it through camp without needing his next fight to be postponed once or twice.
Hearn says he’d like to set up a rematch between the former two-division world champion Saunders (30-1, 14 KOs) and WBA 168-lb mandatory challenger John Ryder.
Saunders, 32, beat Ryder by a razor-close 12-round unanimous decision in September 2013 at the Copper Box Arena in London, Billy Joe jumped out to an early lead and held on in the later rounds when Ryder came storming back.
“Until he broke his eye socket against Canelo Alvarez, he was having a great fight,” said Hearn.
“He’s controversial, he’s talented, and of course, the Billy Joe Saunders vs. Chris Eubank Jr fight down the road – I don’t believe you’ll see that this year anyway. But I’d like to see John Ryder fight Billy Joe Saunders.
“They had a great fight a few years ago,” said Hearn.
If Saunders is interested in fighting a rematch with Eubank Jr, he should consider taking a couple of tune-ups because that would be a grueling fight for him.