Billy Joe Saunders will find the loss to Canelo ‘very tough’ to deal with, says Mark Tibbs who reveals corner discussions after eye injury

Mark Tibbs admits Billy Joe Saunders will find it ‘very tough’ to come to terms with his defeat to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.

However, the Englishman’s head coach insists he has no regrets with pulling the former WBO super-middleweight champion from the fight after a crushing right uppercut dismantled his eye socket.

Saunders was left with multiple fractures around his right eye socket
Michelle Farsi/Matchroom Boxing

Before being stopped at the end of the eighth round, Saunders was boxing well and using his slick southpaw stance to infuriate and, at times, bemuse the Mexican in Texas.

However, a crushing right uppercut fractured multiple bones around his eye socket and left him requiring immediate surgery to potentially save his eyesight, let alone his career.

To make matters worse, the official scorecards at the time of the stoppage reflect harshly on what was a valiant performance by the Brit on foreign soil – he was down convincingly on all three of the judge’s cards.

Saunders is said to have pocketed $8million (£5.6m) from the fight itself, yet the money was never important.

Canelo started showboating against Saunders after delivering a thumping right uppercut which shattered the Englishman’s eye
Getty Images – Getty

The 31-year-old dared to be great against one of the very best of his generation, but Tibbs admits he has no regrets with how he handled the situation.

“I see the eye blackened all of a sudden, in the round, it happened after the right uppercut,” he told Fight Night on talkSPORT.

“I saw the eye just go black, it wasn’t swollen, it just went black. When the round ended, Billy Joe walked towards me and I was right in there.

“I was in there just as Billy Joe was coming back, I think he was a metre away from me, and we had some dialogue.

Saunders has suffered multiple fractures of his orbital bone

“He sat down, spun around, and I believe one of my corner team was in his earhole and that wasn’t very wise.

“But I knew I made my mind up.”

Since the fight, several dissenting voices have reminded Saunders of his comments about Daniel Dubois after his loss to Joe Joyce.

The youngster was criticised for taking a knee during the fight, although it later transpired he had suffered the same injury as Saunders.

Tibbs had no option but to pull Saunders out after the eighth round

Despite being so vocal before the fight, Saunders has remained virtually silent ever since, but Tibbs believes his protégé showed class in the aftermath of the defeat.

“I have called him a couple of times,” he added. “I got a text from him and I have called him a couple of times.

“But one of his friends has text me and filled me in on the situation, that he wants to be with his friends right now and his family.

“He is dejected and after went on in the corner there, he was dejected and he was sitting there and I always step aside and let the doctor do his work.

Canelo remains boxing’s pound-for-pound king
Ed Mulholland/Matchroom

“He was sitting there with the doctor and I said to him, ‘Have you finished with him yet?’ That’s when I spoke to Billy.

“I said to Billy, ‘Get up and take that towel off your head and go and shake Canelo’s hand.’

“And he did that, just as I finished my line, he was gone. I told him while he was there to shake his trainer’s hand as well and he did that.

“It’s going to be a very, very tough time emotionally for Billy Joe,” Tibbs concluded.

“He comes from the community he comes from and they are a very proud people and it is just going to be very tough.

“Listen, how he has to got to look at it as he went against a pound-for-pound great in Canelo Alvarez and he put up a good fight against him.

“He put up a good fight until he got his eye damaged with one punch, so that turned the fight around. It’s going to be tough for Billy Joe and he has a good family around him and good support with his friends.

“It’s like grieving; it’s something he has got to get through, he has got kids around him and that will help him get through and you have got to get on with things.”