Light heavyweight contender Joshua Buatsi says Billy Joe Saunders was unable to trouble Canelo Alvarez at all last Saturday with his fighting style.
Buatsi (13-0, 11 KOs) feels that each fighter is different in dealing with their injuries. In his last fight against Marko Calic last October, he fought with an injured eye and stuck through it to eventually score a stoppage in the seventh.
In Saunders’ case, he handled it differently by immediately bowing out in between the eighth and ninth round after his right eye was injured from a punch by Canelo in the eighth.
Saunders is getting flak because his eye didn’t look nearly as bad as other fighters’ eyes have sustained injuries. Moreover, you can argue there was no way of knowing at the time where Saunders’ had an orbital bone fracture.
It was more of a case of Saunders’ eye being half-closed due to the swelling than having knowledge of broken bones.
Buatsi (15-0, 8 KOs) is heading this Saturday night on DAZN against little-known French fighter Daniel Dos Santos (15-0, 8 KOs) at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
“If there’s anyone who’s going to trouble Canelo, it’s going to be Billy Joe with the style that he’s got,” said Buatsi to the DAZN Boxing Show.
“But as we saw, Canelo has operated at this level for years now, so he knew how to handle it, and I think the fight was stopped; he handled business.
“I feel like we’ve seen a lot of fighters take a loss because of that; I can’t comment on how bad theirs was; I can only talk about mine.”
“The vision was limited, but I decided when it happened, this is not ideal, but regardless I’m going to win.
“When it’s all said and done, losing your eye over boxing is not worth it,” said Buatsi.
Saunders seemed to realize the writing was on the wall in terms of him having no chance of winning, which likely factored into his decision to quit rather than continue fighting.
Yeah, trainer Mark Tibbs was the guy who officially halted the fight in Saunders’ corner, but if Billy Joe wanted to continue, he would have told him to let him come out for the eighth.
With Saunders having zero punching power, he couldn’t do anything with Canelo. There was virtually no chance for Saunders to knockout Canelo because he arguably has less power than Rocky Fielding and Avni Yildirim.
Saunders is a finesse fighter who wins by out-boxing his opponents. Unfortunately, that style wasn’t going to work against a talented guy like Canelo.
Now, Saunders has to decide whether he wants to continue his career. He’s got to know his paydays will drop off significantly now that he’s just a contender and no longer a world champion.
If Saunder’s promoter Eddie Hearn is unable to line him up big money fights against the likes of Demetrius Andrade, Jermall Charlo, Ryota Murata, or Gennady Golovkin; he’s going to be in for a shock.