Billy Joe Saunders insists that he will be back following his unification battle with Canelo Alvarez over the weekend.
Saunders had been boxing brilliantly in the mega-fight at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in front of over 70,000 fans, before an horrific eye injury led to his corner pulling him out of the fight after eight rounds.
While he may not have been victorious, the two-weight world champion has received a lot of praise for how well he had been boxing in the rounds leading up to the conclusion, and he has released a short statement to break his silence following his first defeat.
Saunders said: “Thanks everyone for the messages. I have a broken eye socket and broken cheekbone in three places. I had my operation yesterday and all went well.
“You win some and lose some. I didn’t feel out of my league but got caught with a good shot and couldn’t see, and Ben got the corner to pull it. Thank you all who watched, I’ll be back, god bless you all.”
The World Boxing Council released the following statement on May 11:
"Last Saturday the super middleweight champion of the World Boxing Council, Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez, defeated Englishman Billy Joe Saunders in a great fight at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The combat was intense, with both men giving their absolute best to provide a great show. In the eighth round, Saunders suffered a fractured eye socket from a Canelo uppercut, which prevented him from seeing clearly. In the corner, coach Mark Tibbs took the humane, responsible and correct decision to stop the fight, because he did not want to expose his pupil and friend to irreversible damage.
Billy Joe had to undergo surgery to repair a triple fracture in the orbital area of his right eye. He proved he's world-class, facing the Pound For Pound Supreme Fighter, putting on a great and memorable show.
The WBC family recognises the courage of Billy Joe Saunders and wishes him a speedy plus successful recovery, reiterating our full support."