Billy Joe Saunders has revealed he is thinking about retiring from boxing.
Back in May, Saunders fought Canelo Alvarez in a very intriguing bout. Early on in the fight, Saunders had success and won a few rounds. However, Alvarez began taking over and then landed a vicious uppercut in the eighth round that fractured his eye socket and his corner stopped the fight.
Ever since the fight, Saunders have yet to talk about the bout until now. The Englishman spoke to talkSport and he says he’s enjoying some time off from boxing.
“I’m just coming down from it all, having a good, long think and enjoying the kids time really. I went into surgery, I had a broken eye socket, it was broken in three places,” Saunders said to talkSport. “I’ve got some plates, I’m like Terminator now, they’ve got me full of metal… As soon as I got home I just took time out for family and enjoyed the time off without any boxing. It’s been nice.
“I’ve had a load of people say, ‘You were doing well, we had you one up, we had you level, we had you one down or whatever.’ But he’s a world class fighter and he caught me with a world class shot, so you’ve gotta give the man that credit and respect,” Saunders continued. “I’ve been in these situations and done it to opponents before and I’ve took plenty of credit for it, so you’ve gotta give it back to him for it. He’s a very, very good fighter. He’s a very good fighter, very tricky. When I got in the ring with him I thought, ‘Is this it?’ I expected more, but I suppose everybody’s gonna be like that going into that sort of fight.”
After Billy Joe Saunders got hit by the shot he said it was a good one and began seeing two or three of Alvarez. Yet, when he went to the corner he was shaking his head at his corner to not stop the fight.
“As a fighter, I wanted to go on. I sat down and I could hear Ben [Davison] telling me in the corner it was over before I even sat down,” Saunders said. “I was shaking my head to say, ‘No way.’ It was the right stoppage, I can’t argue, I know my best interests was at hand. Obviously it’s gutting and no-one wants to lose, it is gut-wrenching, but this is sport and it’s boxing.
“You can only ever say that the better man won on the night,” Saunders continued. “That’s it. I would’ve loved to see how the next four or five rounds were because I put so much heart and effort into it. That’s sport.”
After the fight, many said Saunders quit which he says was not the case.
“You’re always gonna have your people who come and have their two pence worth. But my team who’s in that corner know the conversation,” Saunders said. “I was going out for the ninth round orthodox and when people say, ‘He quit,’ you’ve gotta look at the situation. My team are there to do a job, they’re there to look after my best interests. I’m there to go on all night. When we step in that ring, that’s our lives and I’m willing to put down the life.
“But never in my life would I ever say, ‘Nah, I’m finished, I’m done.’ I boxed a minute and 20 seconds with a broken eye socket, a broken cheekbone in three places,” Saunders added. “A minute and 20 seconds is alright fighting the average man, but when you’re fighting the best man on the planet, I could’ve easily opted out but I never. That was the cornerman’s decision. It is what it is, I can’t argue with that.”
Now, after a month after the fight, Billy Joe Saunders says he is contemplating retirement.
“At the end of the day, I’m 31 years old, if I don’t ever wanna work again, wanna sit back, wanna chill, I can do that,” Saunders concluded. “And so it should be, I’ve put a lot of time into boxing and I’ve paid my dues. The sport’s been very, very good to me… I’m 31, I haven’t took no punishment, I haven’t been battered from pillar to post, brain dead and can’t put a sentence together, so I need to sit back and look at my options. Because the options have to weigh up – the thought of me just coming in and fighting for a world rating or something, belts don’t feed the kids. Everything would have to stack up and [be] the right fight.”
What do you make of Billy Joe Saunders opening up on his loss to Canelo Alvarez?