Billy Joe Saunders had successful surgery to repair a fractured right orbital bone suffered in a loss to Canelo Alvarez, his promoter said Monday.
According to a Matchroom Boxing spokesman, Saunders fractured his eye socket in three different places in last Saturday’s super middleweight unification bout at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Saunders was hit with a right uppercut in the eighth round that closed the eye and caused enough damage that his corner stopped the fight before the ninth round.
Saunders (30-1, 14 KOs) was immediately taken to a local hospital. Matchroom said that British boxer is recovering but a timetable for his return to England has yet to be determined.
Mark Tibbs, Saunders’ trainer, told ESPN after the bout that it was his decision to stop the bout and there was no pushback from anyone else in Saunders’ corner, including the fighter.
“He’s a young man,” Tibbs said on Saturday. “He’s got a family. He’s got children. I’ve known him a very, very long time. He lives to fight another day.”
Saunders was previously undefeated and the WBO’s 168-pound champion prior to the loss to Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs). At the time of the stoppage, Saunders was down 78-74, 77-75 and 78-74 on the official scorecards.
British heavyweight fighter Daniel Dubois reportedly suffered a broken orbital bone in a 2020 loss to Joe Joyce. British welterweight Kell Brook had the injury happen in the right and left eye in respective losses to Gennadiy Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr.