Saunders coach Mark Tibbs pulled the Hatfield fighter out of the fight after the eighth round as Canelo’s powerful right uppercut inflicted multiple fractures to his opponent’s right orbit.
The Ring Doctor visited Saunders’ corner after the eighth round, but it was clear from television footage that the 31-year-old was unable to see with his right eye.
Saunders had been the WBO super middleweight champion heading into the contest and was hoping to secure Canelo’s WBC and WBA suspenders overnight.
But he ran into the man most regarded as the best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet in Canelo.
Immediately after the fight, some criticized Saunders for withdrawing from the fight, with DAZN experts Sergio Mora and Chris Mannix question his fighting spirit before realizing he had suffered significant eye damage.
Saunders had entered the fight claiming he would rather die than leave the contest with Canelo and in the past he has criticized other fighters who withdrew from the fight before the end of the 12 rounds, such as Daniel Dubois in November – something that was quickly highlighted by some fans on social media.
However, posting on his Twitter account, Fury said, “People like to hate other people who are willing to chase their dreams. Billy Joe Saunders tried to be awesome last night! It wasn’t his night but at least he had the bottle to follow his dreams and his heart.
“He will always be my brother. We go back to 15/16 (years).
“What an unforgettable night #30 years Dallas. »
It came after a previous post where Fury had said, “We thank God for everything and everyone around us. After a great week in Texas with Billy Joe Saunders, we now continue to move forward on this journey through life. In God we trust ”and tagged her brother Tommy Fury who was also in the picture.
Saturday night’s fight took place in front of more than 73,000 fans at the Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
And fans weren’t disappointed as both men impressed at different stages of the fight.
After an edgy first lap, Canelo started to gain control in laps two and three, as Saunders struggled to trouble the Mexican despite being arguably the most active.
However, the former British Olympian upped the intensity and showed his boxing skills between round four and seven.
Saunders isn’t known for his punching power, but he was putting up more combinations mid-rounds and was actually leading on some people’s scorecards before round eight, including respected journalist Mannix.
But Canelo’s devastating counter-uppercut in the middle of the eighth round was the defining moment of the fight.
It was clear from the second he landed and when Saunders eye swelled immediately that the Briton was in serious trouble, as Canelo waved the crowd to turn up the noise and the Mexican admitted by the as a result he knew he had broken the eye socket as soon as the shot landed.
After the fight, it was revealed that all three judges had Canelo ahead, with Tim Cheatham recording 77-75 and Max DeLuca and Glenn Feldman 78-74. I, too, Canelo had won 77-75, but at least three of the rounds were arguably close enough that they could have been scored anyway depending on what you want to see from your boxers, in my opinion.
Saunders was immediately rushed to hospital after the fight and event promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom confirmed via social media that he suffered multiple fractures around his eyes.
Hearn tweeted: “Right at the Dallas hospital, Billy Joe Saunders spent the night.
“Suffered from multiple fractures of the orbital region and will be operated on this afternoon. “
And talk to DAZN , who broadcast the fight, Hearn said, “I spoke to [trainer] Mark Tibbs. He couldn’t see and he didn’t want to let him out.
“I thought Billy boxed beautifully. Canelo is so strong, he took his time. Billy is so delicate, but he broke his eye socket. Canelo got strong in the back of the fight. Very good.
“It was a great performance from Billy Joe Saunders, he came to win. “