Billy Joe Saunders faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering a ‘quadripod fracture’ against Canelo Alvarez, his promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed.
British super-middleweight Saunders is set to be out of action for several months following the brutal defeat by Alvarez last weekend, according to The Athletic.
Saunders, 31, was left unable to continue after a savage uppercut by Canelo in the eight round of their clash at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
DAZN commentator Todd Grisham said after the fight on Saturday night it looked like the former WBO super-middleweight champion had fractured an orbital bone and his worst fears were confirmed after an examination by medical staff at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.
‘Just at hospital in Dallas, @bjsaunders_ stayed in overnight,’ Hearn wrote on Twitter.
‘Suffered multiple fractures to orbital area and will undergo surgery this afternoon.’
Ironically, the injury is similar to that suffered by former British heavyweight champion Daniel Dubois in his 2020 defeat to Joe Joyce last year.
Dubois sustained a broken eye socket in his loss to Joyce but Saunders launched a stinging attack on the 23-year-old by basically accusing him of quitting.
“Fighters get in that ring and we know what’s on the line,” Saunders said to DAZN.
“Every fighter needs to understand and the fans need to understand that. In the past, we’ve seen a lot of tragedies in boxing, deaths in the ring.
“Before I go on one knee I’d like to go out on my back with my pulse stopped.
“Everyone has their own thought process in the ring and what went on in the ring I don’t know. He obviously felt he could not continue.”
Dubois, however, was steadfast in his support for Saunders, refusing to twist the knife into one of his harshest critics.
He said: “You fought well @bjsaunders_ hope your eye heels [sic] up quickly and you can come back stronger champ.”
The Londoner has worked his way back to fitness after making a full recovery from surgery to repair his damaged eye socket and will return to the ring on June 5 to take on Bogdan Dinu for the WBA interim heavyweight title.
Saunders, on the other hand, faces a long road back to recovery after going under the knife on Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Canelo went home with the WBA, WBC, WBO and The Ring super-middleweight titles, but most importantly, he cemented his place as the undisputed pound-for-pound No. 1 in the world.
The Mexican, who is only one year younger than Saunders at 30, is currently riding a seven-fight winning streak with four stoppages.
He is now hoping to defend his WBA, WBC, WBO and The Ring belts against IBF super-middleweight champion Caleb Plant at some point later this year.