Eddie Hearn: Billy Joe Saunders will be out for a 'long, long time' after injuring eye
Saunders suffered a suspected fracture of the orbital bone in the eighth round of his clash against Canelo
Billy Joe Saunders will be out for a 'long, long time' as a result of the eye injury sustained in his loss to Canelo Alvarez, according to Eddie Hearn.
Saunders' corner pulled their man out of the fight at the end of the eighth round, which handed victory to the jubilant Mexican in front of a packed out AT&T Stadium in Texas.
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In the first round, Canelo set about going to the body of Saunders with heavy left hooks to work his way around the Englishman's awkward southpaw stance and slippery style.
By the third it looked like the Mexican had Saunders rattled as he closed the distance and landed the cleaner shots.
However, Saunders started to find his rhythm in the fourth and actually went on to arguably steal the round but most certainly won the fifth as he started to drop his hands and even taunt the four-weight world champion.
DAZN's Chris Mannix even had the British boxer ahead on the scorecards as he started to use every inch of that 22-foot ring that caused so much drama in the build-up, and Canelo did seem to struggle to land that right hand detonator.
Eventually, however, Canelo did land it. And boy did Saunders feel the pain.
Attempting to roll Canelo's left hook, Saunders instead laid his chin on a plate for an absolutely destructive right-hand uppercut from the red-haired power puncher, and his right eye instantly blackened.
When the round ended, he struggled to open his eye and could be seen mouthing "no" to his trainers.
Trainer Mark Tibbs then informed the referee that he was pulling Billy Joe Saunders out of the fight.
Speaking to iFL TV after the fight, Matchroom Boxing head honcho Eddie Hearn said Saunders' trainer Mark Tibbs made the correct call in stopping the fight.
"You could see as soon as he [Canelo] hit him [Saunders] that he'd done his eye socket.
"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."
Canelo's next task is likely to come in the form of Caleb Plant. The 28-year-old's IBF Super Middleweight title would complete Canelo's super-middleweight collection and unify the whole division, if he can defeat the American.
Canelo stated boldly and with all the same venom as the bad guy in an action movie that "I want him next."
For Billy Joe Saunders, the situation is a little less clear. Hearn added that Saunders is now set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
"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%."