Former WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders has undergone surgery following the injuries he sustained in his first professional loss on Saturday night.
The 31-year-old lasted eight rounds against Mexican icon Canelo Alvarez in front of over 70,000 people at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Saunders was hoping to end the dominance of the four-weight world champion but was put to the sword when a brutal uppercut in round 8 caused devastating damage to Saunders. His trainer Mark Tibbs waved matters off after Saunders explained he could not see out of his right eye. Alvarez now has three of the four titles at super middleweight.
Saunders left the ring immediately and was soon taken to a hospital in Dallas to learn the extent of the damage caused by Alvarez.
“Just at hospital in Dallas. Billy Joe Saunders stayed in overnight. Suffered multiple fractures to orbital area and will undergo surgery this afternoon (Sunday),” his promoter Eddie Hearn said yesterday.
Boxing Social’s Andi Purewal spoke to Saunders’ trainer Mark Tibbs afterwards and asked why he pulled him out of the fight.
“I took a look at him and I weren’t happy with his body language and it was the only thing to do. It’s a dangerous business and against a pound-for-pound great. I was frustrated and I would have loved to have left him in there [but] his leading eye was damaged [so] he can’t see nothing coming. And there was a lot of pain there as well.”
Main image: Mark Robinson