Billy Joe Saunders is in training for a ring return following over two years out the ring.
The two-weight world champion pressed pause on his professional career following his first loss against Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez.
Saunders boxed well in the opening stages of the Texas bout, but ducked into shot that would see him fracture his eye socket. In the aftermath, some wondered if he had quietly retired from the sport.
He confirmed that not to be the case this year, announcing a impending comeback and beginning training. In an interview with William Hill, he said he needed the break.
“I have to come back to boxing, because I can’t keep thinking about ‘could’ve, would’ve, should’ve…’ I know it’s been two-and-a-half years now, but I’ve been boxing mentally since I was five years old, so I needed that break so much.”
Saunders then confirmed the timeline for his return, looking to work with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom again for a light-heavyweight bout this December before moving back down to super-middleweight.
“I’m going to fight in December. I haven’t got an opponent yet but I’m going to go back with Eddie Hearn and sort something. I’ll probably fight at 12st 6lbs, 12st 5lbs (super middleweight). I’m not going to say I’m going to fight a superstar, but I’m going to fight 12st 6lbs coming back, and then you’ll see me at 12st in the New Year.”
Saunders, 30, is being smart about the plan, and says that he has three of four fights left in the game.
“I could say right from now that in 11 or 12 weeks I could get down to 12st, but at what cost? I don’t want to go in there and stink the place out because I’m drained and I haven’t made the weight. I want to slowly bring it down and have a little run-out, get the ball rolling, pick an opponent and then look for the biggest fights Eddie can bring me. I only want three or four fights.”
On which Matchroom card he lands is yet to be announced, with a host of December dates already filled and two more in the works.