The British two-weight world champion played his part in a competitive and thrilling affair in front of a stellar crowd of over 73,000 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, but saw his attempts to dethrone the Mexican King pound for pound end. by a brutal assault in the eighth round.
Billy Joe Saunders failed in his quest for a shock victory over Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in the massive super middleweight title unification clash on Saturday.
As part of that decisive attack, Canelo landed a powerful uppercut that appeared to inflict severe damage to Saunders’ orbit, leaving him unable to see as he failed to get up from his stool for the start of the ninth. round and was removed from the fight at his corner.
Saunders was rushed to hospital soon after the fight for further evaluation of a suspected orbital bone fracture.
He lost his WBO title and undefeated record with Canelo just one belt away from becoming the first undisputed champion in super middleweight division history.
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez by Billy Joe Saunders
Elwin Soto bt Katsunari Takayama
Kieron Conway by Souleymane Cissokho
Frank Sanchez par Great Aguilera
Marc Castro and Irving Castillo
Keyshawn Davis by Jose Antonio Meza
Christian Alan Gomez Duran par Xavier Wilson
Kelvin Davis by Jan Marsalek
Follow the full boxing reaction with Standard Sport’s LIVE blog below…
This is what Saunders’ right eye looked like at the end of the fight.
Saunders came for a stick for the comments he made about Daniel Dubois after the British heavyweight injured his eye in his loss to Joe Joyce.
Dubois withdrew after breaking his orbit and Saunders said in an Instagram video that fighters should “get transported out of the ring.”
But, despite those comments, Dubois backed Saunders after his loss last night.
Trainer Peter Fury reacts on Twitter: “What a fighter Canelo is. He slowly increased the heat as the rounds went on. BJS, like I said, is a winner and did their best, and fought well against the pound for pound.
In another bit of boxing news, it looks like an announcement about the British megafight between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury could finally be made this week.
Eddie Hearn said: “We thought about making some noise tonight, but because of the different broadcasters, I don’t think it would have gone very well.
” This week . . . it will be announced 100%. 100 this week.
“We had a good meeting with the cover bodies where we confirmed our position to them.”
Legendary ring announcer Michael Buffer had Sanders in mind at the time of the save.
“I thought Billy Joe was in the fight until the eighth round, but that eye was a game changer,” Buffer said.
“Billy Joe is still a hell of a fighter. I actually had Billy Joe a few points ahead. But Canelo became Canelo, and the power of the stars took over.
Saunders coach Mark Tibbs said “it was not an easy decision” to take his man out of the fight.
“It’s never easy at a time like this,” Tibbs said as he walked out of the AT&T stadium.
“But his main eye has been damaged and I have too much love for the man to send him there or ask him to go. He couldn’t see. It was his primary eye, it’s difficult. I hurt my first eye and it’s not very nice.
“He did well until he got injured. It’s empty.
It should be noted that Andrade was at ringside tonight wearing a t-shirt that read, “Canelo and Billy Joe are afraid to fight Boo Boo Andrade.”
Saunders was supposed to defend his WBO middleweight title against Andrade in Boston in October 2018, purely for the Briton’s drug test failure – caused by a common decongestant nasal spray – to sabotage those plans.
Drama in Canelo’s post-fight press conference as WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade rushes in and demands to fight the next Mexican in a heated exchange before being pushed by security.
An angry Canelo replied, “You are not fighting anyone. F ** k get out of here because I’m gonna fuck you right now. ”
An awkward moment for Hearn, who also promotes “Boo Boo” and recently called him the “most avoided fighter” he has ever worked with.
Saunders’ injury brings to mind memories of Kell Brook’s loss to Gennady Golovkin in 2016, when he broke the socket in his right eye.
He suffered the same injury against Errol Spence Jr the following year.
Those who are on social media making Saunders grief this morning obviously have no idea what kind of power is being put on those Canelo punches.
It is a serious injury that you cannot afford to take risks with.
Sure, Saunders’ brash antics make him an easy target for this kind of criticism, but it’s still grossly unfair under the circumstances.
Here’s what Hearn had to say about the next undisputed showdown between Canelo and Plant …
“It’s the only fight,” he said. “And I hope Caleb Plant feels the same. We saw an interview the other day where he didn’t talk too much about Canelo.
“But listen, we want to keep the big bouts ahead in boxing, the first undisputed Mexican champion at 168 pounds.
“In the end, Canelo Alvarez will fight absolutely anyone. We know who he wants to fight, he told me who he wanted to fight.
“Caleb factory. This is the fight. This is the next must-see fight.