Carl Froch maintains that Billy Joe Saunders didn’t quit on his stool last Saturday night in his eighth-round stoppage defeat against Canelo Alvarez at A&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Froch, who worked the Canelo-Saunders broadcast as an analyst for DAZN, puts it on Saunders’ trainer Mark Tibbs for why the fight was halted after the eighth round after Billy Joe had suffered a right-eye injury.
What Froch isn’t saying is that Saunders was repeatedly shaking his head while on his stool during a conversation with Tibbs.
As such, the logical thing for boxing fans to conclude was that Saunders was being asked if he was willing to continue fighting.
The head shaking from Billy Joe could be interpreted by some as an indication of him wordlessly quitting on his stool without saying the words, ‘I quit.’
The result is the same, isn’t it? I mean, if you’re trainer is asking you, ‘Do you want to continue?’ and you shake your head in response, is that not quitting?
Saunders didn’t quit – Froch
“I had him down a couple of rounds on my card. I wasn’t being biased, but I wanted Billy Joe Saunders to do well,” said Carl Froch to iFL TV.
“He was busy in a couple of rounds, and outboxing Canelo at times, and not getting hit back. So I stored Billy three or four rounds, so he was two down on my card.
“Canelo looked like he was going to pick the pace up and march forward and get his digs in. The stoppage couldn’t have come at a better time.
“It was a great stoppage by Mark Tibbs. Billy Joe didn’t pull out; he didn’t quit. He got punched in the eye, and it fractured his eye socket,” said Froch.
Carl says Billy Joe didn’t quit, but why was he shaking his head in between rounds?
Tibbs pulled Billy Joe out
“Anybody I know that has had a fractured eye socket, it’s such a debilitating injury,” said Froch in continuing to deny that Saunders didn’t quit. “He made the decision, a great decision, to pull him out of the fight.
“He lives to fight another day,” Froch said. “He [Saunders] was losing the fight; he was on his back foot, taking digs and with one eye. The writing was on the wall.
“Why get punished? This is boxing; it’s a sport. It is his livelihood, but your health is far more important.
“He’s got, kids. So it was a great decision by Mark Tibbs to pull him out.
“For anyone that says Billy Joe quit, it’s not necessary to go down that route. Billy Joe did really well, fantastic.
“He should be proud of himself. I think he did himself very proud,” said Froch about Saunders.
Is Canelo one of the greatest fighters ever?
“Stylistically, the way he moves and the power punches he looks for, I wouldn’t put that in with Roy Jones Jr or Floyd Mayweather,” said Froch when asked if Canelo is one of the greatest fighters ever.
“I always say boxing is about hitting and not getting hit, and he [Canelo] does get caught. He does load up and bully his opponents and smash him around the ring.
“He’s one of the greatest of all time, but I prefer Sugar Ray Leonard or Roy Jones Jr.,” said Froch.
The way that Canelo looked against Saunders, it’s impossible to even put him in the top 25 of the greatest fighters that ever fought. Canelo was getting out-boxed by a past his prime Saunders, who was nowhere near as good as he was seven years ago.
The Saunders that beat Chris Eubank Jr in 2014 would have beaten Canelo last night.
Canelo was throwing one punch at a time, missing frequently, and looking incapable of throwing combinations. The Mexican star has always been a flawed fighter, but he’s not the same guy he used to be when he fought Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2013.
Canelo is older, slower, and not capable of throwing more than a handful of shots. If you stuck Canelo in with Joe Calzaghe, Gerald McClellan, Roy Jones Jr, or Nigel Benn, he’d have lost to all of them.