Former two-division world champion, Billy Joe Saunders, has defended his criticism of Daniel Dubois for ‘quitting’ against Oleksandr Usyk, with some labelling him a hypocrite after staying on his stool in his only career defeat against Saul Canelo Alvarez.
Saunders retired in between the eighth and ninth round against Canelo in Texas after suffering a broken orbital bone. The former middleweight and super-middleweight champion had previously ‘had a pop’ at Dubois, who took a knee against both Joe Joyce, also from an eye injury.
In an interview on the Up Front podcast, Saunders explained how his trainers would not let him continue, as opposed to Dubois who appeared to give up of his own accord.
“When I went back to the corner, Ben [Davison] said ‘look your eye has gone…’ and I said ‘no, I am alright, I will switch orthodox’ and Mark Tibbs went ‘one more round I am going to give you’.”
“I remember Ben grabbing me and Ben looked at Mark and went ‘Billy Joe, your eye is gone, if we stop it now we can get a rematch. I am not letting you do it [go out for another round]’.”
“I had a pop at Daniel Dubois, but there is a difference. I could have easily went onto one knee there and not got up. I can honestly say, I did have a pop at him and I did put myself into that position [for criticism], but knowing what I know in the corner, when people slag you off, I think people can have their opinion, my team and that know what is what.”
Saunders is now eyeing a comeback after two-and-a-half years away from the ring, pencilling in a fight date before the end of the year.