Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed that former WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders suffered a triple fracture of his right eye socket, and he’s having surgery performed.
Saunders (30-1, 14 KOs) suffered the injury in the eighth round of his huge unification match against WBA/WBC champion Canelo Alvarez last Saturday night at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Mike Coppinger reported earlier that Saunders had suffered a “quadripod fracture” of his right orbital bone. He would be having surgery in Fort Worth, Texas, at the John Peter Smith Hospital.
“I was at the hospital earlier. He’s got a triple fracture in his eye socket, orbital, so he’s going to be operated on at 5 o’clock today,” said Eddie Hearn to Little Giant Boxing about Billy Joe Saunders.
“He’s OK; he’s under a bit of sedation,” Hearn continued. “We’ll delay his fly back home until Wednesday.
“Yeah, it was fantastic; they deserve all the credit they get,” said Hearn about Canelo’s coach Eddy Reynoso being proud of his win.
“I think when Canelo went back to his corner [after round eight], he told Eddy; he won’t come back out.
“You could see the indent in his eye, and I think his corner [trainer Mark Tibbs] had no choice but to pull him out,” said Hearn about Saunders.
It sounds like Saunders will be on the shelf for a considerable amount of time before he’s ready to resume his career. A surgeon talks about Saunder’s injury in the video below, and it doesn’t sound pretty.
Saunders left himself open for an uppercut from Canelo in the eighth round by leaning forward in front of the Mexican star with his hands down.
Billy Joe had been fighting like this for the majority of the contest, leaning forward and dangling his arms, daring Canelo to throw.
Saunders has been able to get away with fighting this manner during most of his career, but it was clearly the wrong approach to use against Canelo.
“His face was broken; they think he had a broken orbital bone,” said Todd Grisham of DAZN about Saunders.
“If your face is broken, you’re allowed to tap out. Hopefully, he’s alright.
‘They said his pupils are good. He was in good spirits, but his face was numb, and they felt he’d broken his eye socket. I thought it was a great effort from Saunders.
“A couple of people had him winning. One judge gave him three rounds, but unfortunately, he couldn’t continue. It was a great fight, an electric atmosphere; I can’t wait to do it again,” said Grisham.
Most boxing fans still had Canelo up by a couple of rounds when Saunders’ corner stopped the fight after the eighth.
It was a close fight largely because Canelo wasn’t throwing a lot of punches. His low work rate enabled Saunders to squeak some rounds.
“I’m not sure it’s. Next, I’m not sure [Caleb] Plant takes the fight,” said Grisham when asked his thoughts on a match between Canelo and IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant in September.
“We’ve seen some of these PBC fighters; they don’t want to fight anybody unless they’re in the same stable.
“But hopefully, he steps up to the plate; it’s the fight that everyone wants to see, at least in the 168-lb division.
“If not, I’d love to see a GGG vs. Canelo rematch. I see Canelo winning [against Plant]. From what Sergio Mora was saying, he thinks that Billy Joe Saunders and Plant have a similar style with the stick and move and try and confuse people.
“So, I think the same fate awaits Plant, but I’d love to see it,” said Grisham on the proposed Canelo vs. Plant undisputed 168-lb championship in September.