Billy Joe Saunders wants to see what his options are
By William Lloyd: Billy Joe Saunders is using his time off to heal from the eye injury he sustained against Canelo Alvarez and decide what options are out there for him if he chooses to fight again.
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn says he wants former two-division world champion Saunders (30-1, 14 KOs) to fight again because he showed a lot of ability in his loss to superstar Canelo in May 8th.
If Saunders opts to continue his career, it will make sense to be fighting guys that the boxing public is interested in seeing him battle. That would mean Billy Joe fighting these types of guys:
- Chris Eubank Jr
- Gennadiy Golovkin
- Demetrius Andrade
- Callum Smith
- David Benavidez
- Caleb Plant
- Jermall Charlo
Saunders, 31, fought Canelo almost to a standstill until he suffered a freak left eye injury from an uppercut the Mexican star hit him with in the eighth round.
The eye injury was bad enough for Saunders’ corner to stop the fight after the eighth round. Although some boxing fans felt that Billy Joe had quit, the fact is that it was his corner that pulled the plug on the fight.
Saunders is undecided
“I had a conversation with Billy Joe [Saunders] last week, and I think he’s undecided,” said Hearn to Boxing Social on Billy Joe’s plans on whether to continue fighting.
“I said to him that I’d like to see him fight again because I feel like he did well in the fight [with Canelo Alvarez].
“More than that, I think he embraced the whole occasion. Sometimes you see a fighter get in the ring with Canelo Alvarez, and they’re not there, they’re not in the present in the ring, and they don’t really believe [in themselves].
“What I saw on that night was a guy [Billy Joe] that did believe in himself. As much as it was hard work in the build-up with Billy, and everyone knows that. He was great fun in that build-up.
“He drove the fight, even though he wasn’t trying to drive the fight, he ended up driving the fight and also drove me mad.
“But what I saw when I saw a fighter walkout was someone that was meant to be there. That was his stage.
“Coming into that fight, we talked a little bit about that fight, and obviously what happened with his [Billy Joe] eye, and he had no choice after that injury,” said Hearn.
As long as Saunders’ fractured left eye recovers fully, there’s no reason he shouldn’t continue fighting. With that said, Saunders made $8 million for his fight against Canelo on top of the $2 million going into that contest.
Saunders has accumulated more than enough of a nest egg for him to retire and live a life of comfort without financial worry or hardship.
Sticking around in boxing would only make sense if Saunders can continue to make excellent money. However, now that Billy Joe is no longer a world champion and is coming off a stoppage loss to Canelo, he will need to take a significant drop in pay.
Saunders won’t get $8 million fighting anyone at this point unless Canelo gives him a rematch, which he obviously won’t do.
Billy Joe wants to see what his options are
“I think he realizes he has to take a break physically, and then he wants to see what options are available to him and sit down with his dad and his team and have a look at it,” said Hearn about Billy Joe.
“I’ve stressed that I would love to see him fight again, but he’s also made a huge amount of money.
“He’s a two-weight world champion, and he’s now been on the biggest stage in boxing.
“It’s now just down to hunger now. It’s probably down to ‘Do I want to fight again. Do I want to put myself through it.’ Hopefully, the answer is, ‘Yes,'” said Hearn.
There are only a small handful of guys that Saunders can fight and make money against. Again, we’re talking about guys like Golovkin, Andrade, Eubank Jr, Charlo, Benavidez, Plant, and Callum. Those would be risky fights for Saunders.
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- ‘Tired with Canelo, it’s curtains,’ Anthony Dirrell predicts Alvarez vs. Plant
- Canelo Alvarez says he can “Break” Caleb Plant’s chin
- Canelo says his mom thanked him after brawl with Plant at press conference