Hearn: Saunders will be out for a 'long, long time' after eye injury

Eddie Hearn claims Billy Joe Saunders will be out for a ‘long, long time’ – as promoter reveals Brit has gone to hospital for an operation on suspected fractured eye socket suffered in defeat by Canelo Alvarez

  • Billy Joe Saunders suffered the injury in the eighth round against Canelo Alvarez
  • The Briton’s coach Mark Tibbs threw in the towel as his man struggled to see
  • Eddie Hearn confirmed that Saunders had gone to hospital for an operation
  • The promoter believes the 31-year-old could have some more big fights ahead
  • However, Hearn acknowledged that Saunders may now want to call it a day
  • The win for Alvarez means he has now unified the super-middleweight division

Eddie Hearn has confirmed that Billy Joe Saunders will be out ‘for a long, long time’ after the 31-year-old suffered the first defeat of his career and suffered a suspected fractured eye socket. 

Saunders was defending his WBO super-middleweight title in front of a crowd of 73,000 in Dallas but had no answer for Alvarez, who racked up his 56th professional win to unify the division in the process as the Briton’s coach Mark Tibbs made the decision to throw in the towel after eight rounds as Saunders’ injury was being treated. 

Despite a brutal defeat, Hearn felt that his man had some blockbuster bouts to look forward to, but admitted that the near future was bleak. 

Billy Joe Saunders’ corner threw in the towel after round eight due to the Briton’s eye injury

Eddie Hearn has said that his man will have an operation on a suspected fractured eye socket

‘You could see as soon as he (Canelo) hit him (Saunders) that he’d done his eye socket,’ Hearn told iFL TV after the fight.

‘I think because he couldn’t see, the next round was going to be a bad situation. I think he would have got badly hurt in that round.

‘He’s gone to hospital and I believe he’ll have that operated on immediately, so he’s going to be out for a long, long time. 

‘But he’s a world class fighter who lost to the pound-for-pound number one. He’s a two-weight world champion.

‘If he wants to carry on there’s some big fights out there for him. He may feel he has got to a stage where he’s been there, he’s done it, he’s seen it all. We’ll back him 100 per cent.’ 

Canelo Alvarez quickly asserted his dominance as he landed some huge shots on the Briton

The Mexican has now unified the super-middleweight division with his 56th professional win

Despite Saunders making a fast start, Alvarez soon asserted his dominance and landed a series of huge shots including a brutal uppercut in round eight which caused the eye injury before the fight was stopped, with the Mexican leading 78-74, 77-75 and 78-74 on the three judges’ scorecards. 

The manner of Saunders’ defeat led some to question his criticism of Daniel Dubois last year for taking a knee against Joe Joyce, although Dubois paid tribute to his countryman following his defeat. 

‘You fought well @bjsaunders_. Hope your eye heals up quickly and you can come back stronger champ,’ he tweeted.  

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