Promoter Eddie Hearn believes that one of the reasons why the boxing world is coming down so hard on Billy Joe Saunders over his eighth-round stoppage loss to Canelo Alvarez last Saturday night is because of his previous comments he’d made about heavyweight Daniel Dubois in his loss to Joy Joyce last November.
Fighting with a badly damaged eye, Dubois took a knee in the 10th round after getting tagged by a powerful jab from the heavy-handed 6’6′ Joyce (12-0, 11 KOs).
Afterward, Dubois had to deal with the tremendous backlash from fans, including former WBO super middleweight champion Saunders, who didn’t like the way he’d taken a knee to get out of the fight.
According to Hearn, the fans gave Saunder some payback by letting him know he’s a hypocrite for bowing out of his fight with Canelo after he suffered a right eye injury in the eighth round.
The real reason the boxing world is coming down on Saunders about him quitting on his stool has nothing to do with his past comments about Dubois having quit.
You can argue that most U.S boxing fans had no idea that Billy Joe had given Dubois stick for quitting, as many of them don’t follow UK boxing. That’s another world for them.
The U.S fans gave Saunders grief because they don’t like to see fighters bail so easily, as he did. Dubois has nothing to do with why fans and fighters are criticizing saunders.
Hearn says Saunders didn’t quit
“I think with the Dubois comments, I guess until it happens you don’t know how you’re going to react,” Hearn said to DAZN Boxing Show on why Saunders has been criticized by fans over his loss to Canelo.
“Remember with Billy Joe, his corner pulled him out of the fight, it wasn’t like he just turned his back or took a knee. He said to Mark Tibbs he couldn’t see.
“When you talk and you say those things, comments are replayed, and sometimes …. you’re going to get a lot of stick,” said Hearn.
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn can put whatever spin on the outcome of the fight that he wishes, but the reality is, the boxing world sees Saunders as a quitter. Hearn can’t whitewash what happened in that fight, as the fans have already made up their collective minds about the outcome of that fight.
At this point, Hearn is wasting his time trying to put his own spin on what happened at the end of the Canelo vs. Saunders fight.
It’s already academic at this point what happened. In the eyes of the fans, the going got tough for Billy Joe, and he bailed out to save his hide.
Now, Hearn has got to figure out how he’ll promote Saunders in the aftermath of that if he chooses to resume his career.
Fans already see Saunders as a quitter
Many boxing fans don’t agree with Hearn’s assertion that Saunders didn’t quit on his stool after the eighth round, as he appeared to be shaking his head over and over again when talking to his trainer Mark Tibbs after the round ended.
The question is, was Saunders shaking his head when asked if he wanted to continue, or was he doing it for some other reason? It looked to many fans that Saunders was clearly quitting.
Even if was Tibbs decided to pull the plug on the fight, Saunders could have used his authority as the fighter to resist having the fight stopped, couldn’t he? The result is the same, Saunders quit.
But it does look very, very suspicious how Saunders repeatedly shook his head when being questioned.
When you see something like that in fights that are stopped, the obvious thing that fans conclude is the fighter is quitting on his stool. As such, what Hearn says about Saunders not quitting isn’t something that the boxing fans will believe.
“That’s the game,” said Hearn. “If he went out that round he’d have got knocked out, and he could have lost his eyesight.”
Hearn is being a good one in giving his own version of what happened with Saunders quitting, but unfortunately, the fans saw for themselves what happened.