Billy Joe Saunders received a massive $8 million payday for his fight with Canelo Alvarez last Saturday night.
The money that Saunders (30-1, 14 KOs) made should help feather the former two-division world champion’s nest if the eye injury he sustained in his eighth-round stoppage defeat ends his 12-year pro career.
In Saunders’ statement on Monday on social media, he indicated that he would be returning.
Of course, this is all premature. We won’t know if Saunders will resume his career for some time until after his eye injury heals.
Saunders, 30, gave Canelo one of his toughest fights in the last three years before getting caught with an uppercut on his right eye, resulting in a major injury.
According to Dr. Brian Sutterer, Saunders’ vision could have potentially been impaired if he’d come out for the ninth round. “This is major trauma,” said Dr. Sutterer about Saunder’s injury.
“Imagine if he’d come back out there and taken another punch from Canelo, knowing that this bone was basically detached from the rest of the skull.
“As bad as this is, it would have been even worse. They’re already talking about his career being potentially threatened. Yeah, this is something that could end a boxer’s career.”
Sources: Billy Joe Saunders earned $8 million for 168-pound title tilt with Canelo Alvarez. He’s been vocal about longtime friendship with advisor, Daniel Kinahan, who did the deal with Eddie Hearn. With a career-threatening injury, Saunders should be set for life #canelosaunders
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) May 11, 2021
David Benavidez had Saunders ahead
“I felt like it was a really good performance by both fighters,” said former two-time WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez to FightHub. “Billy Joe Saunders was doing real good until he got caught with the big shot.
“What messed him up was having his hands so low like that. I felt like if he had his hands up, he would have never been caught with a shot like that,” said Benavidez about Saunders.
It’s unclear whether Saunder’s trainer Mark Tibbs warned him in between rounds to keep his hands up because he’d been fighting with them down throughout the contest.
Canelo was looking to land uppercut from the earliest point in the fight, and it was obvious that Saunders was going to get tagged at some point if he didn’t raise his guard.
So the question is, did Saunders receive instructions from Tibbs to keep his guard up, or was nothing ever said about this?
“This is boxing and anything can happen, but I feel like his lateral movement was really good, he had a really good jab,” said Benavidez about Billy Joe. “It was that he got caught with that shot.
“Canelo’s fighting style, he’s got some great body shots. Him cutting off the ring to get to Billy Joe Saunders, you could tell his ring IQ. He does so much stuff, Canelo.
“With his experience, he ended up breaking him [Saunders] down and catching him with a great shot, but by any means, it wasn’t an easy fight for Canelo. I had Billy Joe Saunders up by at least a round or two rounds, but it was a great fight. I had him up.
“I think it was his movement, he was boxing him beautifully and using his jab a lot,” Benavidez said about Billy Joe Saunders.
“A lot of people didn’t give him a lot of credit for using his jab and his lateral movement. But I felt like even if he had won, they wouldn’t have gave it to him on the scorecards.
“I think for him to win the fight, he would have had to knock him out,” said Benavidez.