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Billy Joe Saunders expected back in December

Image: Billy Joe Saunders expected back in December

By Barry Holbrook: Billy Joe Saunders is back in the gym after a year out of the ring following his eighth-round stoppage loss to Canelo Alvarez a year ago in May 2021.

Saunders, 32, has been training at Dominic Ingle’s gym for his comeback fight in December. It’s unclear what Saunders’ goal is for his December ring return.

If Billy Joe wants a lucrative rematch with Canelo, he will likely need to beat a handful of top-five caliber contenders from the 168 and/or 160-lb division to make that happen.

Beating the likes of Caleb Plant, Jermall Charlo, David Benavidez, David Morrell Jr, Edgar Berlanga, or Gennadiy Golovkin would be the kind of wins that Saunders needs to increase his chances for a rematch with Canelo.

The former two-division world champion Saunders (30-1, 14 KOs) has been licking his wounds from his battle against the superstar Canelo from a fight in which Billy Joe suffered multiple fractures of his left eye socket from an uppercut in the eighth round.

“He came back a couple of weeks back just to find his feet, get away from home,” Ingle said to The Star about Billy Joe Saunders.

“He’s aiming to fight in December. His nutritionist Greg Marriott is based in Sheffield; we have just got to sit down and work out a plan of where he goes from there.

“That’s another conversation I need to have when I get back to Sheffield. It might work out; it might not,” said Ingle.

Saunders has the skills to pick up where he left off as a top super middleweight, but whether he can stay active enough for a big fight remains to be seen.

If Billy Joe is serious about his comeback, he needs to work on his conditioning because he gassed out badly against Canelo after six rounds in a fight that wasn’t face-paced. Canelo was walking Saunders down slowly like a small heavyweight, and that was enough for him to gas out.

There are some excellent money fights for Saunders if he can get back in the ring. Eddie Hearn would like to match Saunders up against John Ryder or Chris Eubank Jr in rematches. Ryder is the WBA 168-lb mandatory for Canelo’s belt. If Saunders could fight Ryder with his mandatory spot on the line, it would be worth going in that direction.

“In the Canelo fight, he didn’t have a fantastic camp, but he gave a very decent performance. I think he could have beaten Canelo. Maybe there’s more to the mark with Billy; let’s just see how it goes,” said Ingle.

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