Billy Joe Saunders to return to the ring this year after 2 years inactivity

By Boxing News - 05/08/2023 - Comments

By Jake Tiernan: Billy Joe Saunders plans on finally resuming his career this year after sitting out of the ring since May 2021 after suffering multiple fractures of his right eye socket in his eighth round injury stoppage loss to Canelo Alvarez in Arlington, Texas.

The 33-year-old former two-division world champion Saunders ( 30-1, 14 KOs) isn’t saying who he plans on fighting. Still, he’ll likely jump into an immediate money fight against either Caleb ‘Sweethands’ Plant or John Ryder.

After getting a massive payday, said to be $8 million against Canelo, Saunders might not be keen on taking a pay cut by fighting an unknown scrub. Hence, Ryder or Plant would seem like the probable suspects for Saunders to fight.

We won’t see Billy Joe take on one of the dangerous super middleweights, David Benavidez or David Morrell, because those two could inflict even more punishment on him than Canelo did, and it wouldn’t be worth the money if he’s dealing facial damage.

Saunders will need to lose a lot of weight if he plans on coming back at 168 because a recent photo of him floating around on social media shows that he’s packed on a few pounds. I guess you could say that being a millionaire has been good for Billy Joe because it doesn’t look like he’s been missing any meals.

Saunders was a good middleweight, but he didn’t look good afteer moving up to 168. Suppose he’s to have any chance of winning a world title. He must move down to 160 because WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight champion David Morrell would massacre him.

Too much time has elapsed for Saunders to be a major player at 168. Again, Saunders was never suited for the super middleweight division, so he won’t be much of a threat to guys like David Benavidez, Morrell, or Demetrius Andrade.

Undisputed 168-lb champion Canelo isn’t going to give Saunders a rematch because he’s not fought, and the backlash would be severe from fans. If there were any doubts in the minds that Canelo is a cherry picker and always has been, they would be dispelled by him fighting Saunders again in a needless rematch.

It’s more likely that Saunders saw how slow Ryder looked in his loss to Canelo last weekend, and that got him thinking that he should return to the ring to rematch ‘The Gorilla.’

Saunders beat Ryder by a narrow twelve round unanimous decision in September 2013, winning by razor-close scores of 115-114, 115-113, and 115-113. That was earlier in Saunders’ career before he made his millions fighting Canelo, and he was more mobile.