Matchroom Promoter, Eddie Hearn, has revealed who he is targeting as an opponent for Billy Joe Saunders, as the two-weight world champions starts his comeback to the sport.
Saunders defeated Andy Lee in 2015 to claim the WBO Middleweight title, which he defended on three occasions before moving up to 168lbs and winning the WBO Super-Middleweight against Shefat Isufi.
In 2021, the 34-year-old’s undefeated run came to an end, retiring in the corner of a unification bout against pound-for-pound great, Canelo Alvarez, after fracturing his orbital bone. Speaking to iFL TV, Hearn said that despite defeat, Saunders should take positives from that night.
“He is the only fighter that I have seen fight Canelo Alvarez, under my watch, who wasn’t overawed by the occasion. It was one of the biggest nights for me as a promoter, he’s got 75,000 people at Dallas Cowboys’ [Stadium] and he’s stood on that stage to the spartan song, and I looked at him and thought ‘f**k me, he has absolutely zero fear’.”
Despite a competitive fight with Canelo, Hearn is planning a different rematch for Saunders against British rival, Chris Eubank Jr, who he defeated by split-decision in 2014 to defend the British title.
“Look, I think that commercially you should always look for the biggest fight and I know that he [Saunders] wants to win world titles but the [Chris] Eubank fight, for me, [is the best option]. I look at the press conferences, I look at the build-up, I look at the past, but there is many fights out there for him.”
“I think that in British boxing, we are kind of losing the characters a little bit, and in sport in general because things have become very serious and very scientific. I think that he [Saunders] is one of the last old guards of characters.”
Saunders admitted his interest in the fight, but is happy to wait for Conor Benn to face Eubank first and then ‘finish him off’ in a clash next year.