Billy Joe Saunders is back talking boxing ahead of a potential return to the sport.
The British fighter was last in the ring with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez – a stoppage loss that saw him leave the arena with multiple fractures to his eye socket.
Now recovered and deciding what he wants the rest of his fighting career to look like, the former two-weight world champion has time to enjoy the upcoming schedule – one that includes an intriguing catchweight clash between Conor Benn and his former opponent, Chris Eubank Jr.
As with all predictions for this fight, Saunders says the weight (157 lbs limit) and how Eubank handles it will make the difference. He gave his thoughts to DAZN’s Flash Knockdown podcast.
“A lot of people are favouring Eubank because of the size, you know the clever thing that the Benns have done here is obviously put the weight restriction on it. Now, it all depends how he’s going to handle that at 32 [years old].”
Eubank Jr said recently that he was surprised at how many people in the industry were picking Benn to win. It turns out, Saunders falls into that camp, although Eubank may not be shocked considering their history together.
“I’m going to put it out there as a complete 50/50 fight. If you could give Conor Benn another year’s experience and then give him [Eubank Jr] the advantage of the weight scenario, I would most definitely without hesitation say Conor Benn. With the experience Eubank’s got, he’s been in some big fights, but Conor Benn you just can never write him off and I’ve just got a feeling that he’s going to pull something out the bag.
I’ve talked to him [Conor], I’ve been talking to him for a while, he looks so composed, he wants it so bad, and there’s something on the line here that no one will ever understand, only them. I believe that Conor wants it more.”
A rematch between Saunders and Eubank was discussed not long ago. In their first fight, Billy Joe boxed to a split decision win. He has been quoted to say that Eubank Jr will never hold a world title, and it appears time hasn’t changed his views. He reiterated it in a way that only he could.
“I stand by that statement as long as my name’s Billy Joe Saunders. He will never become world champion as long as he’s got a hole in his a*se because there’s one thing he can’t do – and that’s box.”
No love lost between the pair, it seems, and certainly the level of animosity needed to build hype around a future fight. Perhaps Saunders’ return might line up nicely with Eubank’s schedule following his grudge match with Benn on October 8.