By: Hans Themistode
Most of the boxing world believed that Billy Joe Saunders was in for a world of hurt when he took on Canelo Alvarez. The two faced off roughly one month ago at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas. Regardless of the consensus surrounding their showdown, WBC/Ring Magazine heavyweight titlist, Tyson Fury, stood firmly in his corner.
While Saunders gave it everything he had, he was ultimately stopped in the eighth round due to a broken right orbital bone and fractured eye socket. Since then, the normally chatty Saunders remained silent.
Recently, however, Saunders revealed that following his brutal defeat and subsequent surgery which placed several metal plates into his face, that retirement was on the table. While Saunders has ultimately left the final decision up to his father, if Fury has anything to say about it, hanging up the gloves wouldn’t be an option.
“He should recover from his injuries and come back,” said Fury during an interview with SecondsOut. “Win another world title for sure. Don’t go out like that.”
According to reports, Saunders received a career high payday of $8 million for his efforts against Alvarez. The British native acknowledged that with the generational money he received, along with the money he’s amassed over a career that’s spanned well over a decade, if he chooses, he doesn’t have to work ever again.
Yet, no matter how fat Saunders wallet has gotten, Fury believes that if he opted to walk away, it’ll be one of the worst decisions he’s ever made.
“I’ve been in this game a long time and I believe that Billy Joe needs to fight again for his own inner spirit,” continued Fury. “He doesn’t need it for the money cause he’s made a lot of money. He’s a very clever guy, he invests in a lot of stuff outside out of boxing so he’ll never be broke. But it’s more than that. It’s about going out on the right causes. I think if he doesn’t fight again, it’ll probably haunt him forever that he went out with a loss, an injury loss as well.”
From his ringside seat in Dallas Texas, Fury thoroughly enjoyed their matchup. Although Alvarez was considered a heavy favorite, Fury believes his good friend was more than holding his own. Things changed rapidly of course, in that eighth round. Saunders attempted to land a looping left hand in the final seconds. Alvarez, to his credit, avoided the shot and landed the fight-ending right uppercut.
As Saunders staggered to his corner, trainer Ben Davison waved off their contest as the cornermen were unable to successfully open the right eye of Saunders.
In the mind of Fury, it would be one thing if Saunders got outclassed, but considering how competitive their contest was, he believes the time to retire simply isn’t now.
“If he got knocked out or smashed to bits in a fight, then he knows that he wasn’t good enough but I believe he was in that fight. It was a close fight obviously until he got his face smashed in.”
At the time of the stoppage, judge Tim Cheatham had Alvarez ahead, 77-75. Max DeLuca and Glenn Feldman, the two remaining judges, had Alvarez ahead 78-74.
As for what Fury ultimately expects his long-time friend to do, he isn’t exactly sure. Still, not only is the WBC/Ring Magazine heavyweight titlist firmly of the belief that Saunders has plenty in the tank, he has an idea as to who Saunders should target next.
“I think he can come back, regroup and win another world title for sure. Maybe try and get the (Demetrius) Andrade fight.”