The career of Billy Joe Saunders is still up in the air, according to his promoter Eddie Hearn, who checked in with the fighter recently.
“I think he’s ‘undecided’ is the best word,” Hearn said during an interview with Boxing Social. “I said to him I would love to see him fight again.”
Saunders suffered a slew of serious facial injuries during his super middleweight unification bout (WBO/WBA/WBC) against Canelo Alvarez at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in May. Saunders refused to get off his stool at the end of the 8th round. It turned out he had a broken right eye socket and broken cheekbone, both of which required surgery.
Despite the severity of the injury, Hearn was impressed by Saunders’ performance, leading him to feel optimistic that a ring return could still be in the cards.
“I thought he did well in that fight,” said Hearn. “More than that he embraced the whole occasion”
“Sometimes you see a fighter get in the ring against Canelo Alvarez and they’re not in the present and they’re not in the ring,” Hearn continued. “But what I saw that night I saw…someone who was meant to be there. I think he’s just realizing that he has to take a break physically and then he wants to see the options that are available to him.”
Saunders (30-1, 14 KOs) was able to keep Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) somewhat at bay in the early rounds with his jab and counter right hand but fell apart in the middle rounds.
Still, Hearn admitted that Saunders, who is 31, has had an accomplished and lucrative career. He would not be surprised if his charge decided to retire.
“I would love to see him fight again,” Hearn said. “But he’s also made a huge amount of money. He’s a two-weight world champion, he’s now been on the biggest stage and biggest fight in boxing. It’s just down to hunger now. ‘Do I want to fight again? Do I want to put myself through [another training camp]?’ And hopefully the answer is ‘Yes.’”