Billy Joe Saunders was pulled from his fight with Canelo Alvarez on Saturday after eight rounds, suffering a very clear injury to the eye. The severity was speculated on overnight, with a broken orbital bone seeming most likely, and we do have an update today from promoter Eddie Hearn, who says Saunders will undergo surgery with “multiple fractures to orbital area.”
The stoppage itself was also unclear, at least in how it came about in the corner. Saunders (30-1, 14 KO) is going to field criticism for “quitting” no matter what — fellow fighters have thrown out plenty, which doesn’t even count fans and media, and there’s also a reminder that he himself has criticized other fighters for not fighting through injury, including eye injury.
But as for who made the call, trainer Mark Tibbs is very clear: It was his decision, and Billy Joe Saunders never told him he was done and couldn’t go on.
His eye socket was caved in and he couldn’t see. I didn’t get the response from him so, you know,” Tibbs told Behind the Gloves. “It’s frustrating, really, because I felt that he was growing into it. But I had to pull it.”
“He never said, ‘No, that’s it,’ he left it to me,” the trainer added. “He took it well, but he was in pain. The eye socket was gone and he was in pain.”