Saunders Is Back! Ready to Fight At The End Of The Year?
FightersTalkTV.com – A good news for Billy Joe Saunders’s fans. The two-weight world champion has been training at the Ingle Gym ahead of a potential comeback fight in December. Since losing to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in May last year, Saunders, who has held the WBO middleweight and super middleweight belts, was forced to retire in the eighth round after suffering three fractures to his right eye in a punishing career-first defeat.
“He came back a couple of weeks back just to find his feet, get away from home,” Ingle said.
“He’s aiming to fight in December. His nutritionist Greg Marriott is based in Sheffield, we have just got to sit down and work out a plan of where he goes from there.
“That’s another conversation I need to have when I get back to Sheffield. It might work out, it might not.”
Saunders was trained by Mark Tibbs for his last bout, which ended in the first loss of his 31-fight professional career after he suffered a broken eye socket. With Ingle away on a warm-weather training camp in Spain, he was trained by his assistant coach, Amer ‘Killa’ Khan.
“We had a spar last week, he’s definitely still got the grit,” said Khan, who was a 13-0 professional.
“He’s still fighting like his life depends on it. Everything is still there. The pair fought six rounds as part of Saunders’ efforts to get back in shape.
“You have to kill him to beat him. You have to nail him to the ground. He can dig deep and take it to the well.” Khan added.
Who will be the opponent is yet to be ascertained, but Eddie Hearn, chairman of Matchroom Boxing, says he’d like to set up a rematch between the former two-division world champion Saunders (30-1, 14 KOs) and WBA 168-lb mandatory challenger John Ryder (31-5, 17 KOs).
Billy Joe Saunders when beat John Ryder in September 2013.
Saunders, 32, beat Ryder by a razor-close 12-round unanimous decision in September 2013 at the Copper Box Arena in London, Billy Joe jumped out to an early lead and held on in the later rounds when Ryder came storming back.
“Until he broke his eye socket against Canelo Alvarez, he was having a great fight,” said Hearn.
“He’s controversial, he’s talented, and of course, the Billy Joe Saunders vs. Chris Eubank Jr fight down the road – I don’t believe you’ll see that this year anyway. But I’d like to see John Ryder fight Billy Joe Saunders.
“They had a great fight a few years ago,” said Hearn.
Billy Joe Saunders (right) took his professional record to 21-0 when defeated Chris Eubank Jr. on a split decision, November 2014.
Saunders and Eubank Jr have shared an intense rivalry dating back to their 2012 fight where the former sealed a split decision win.
Shalom, the promoter and CEO of BOXXER, believes Eubank Jr is still desperate to secure a rematch. But with his old rival still working towards a return, he believes the Brighton middleweight must now focus on winning a world title before pursuing a host of other huge fights.
“Eubank now finds himself in a position in his career whereby he needs to prove himself as a world champion.” Shalom said.
“If the opportunity is there to fight for a world title, he should be taking it, regardless of the name. I think once Chris has proved his world title credentials, it makes a potential fight with the likes of Conor Benn, Billy Joe or Golovkin later down the line so much bigger.”
“I think Chris would love that fight (against Saunders).” Shalom added.
Saunders is an excellent fighter, but what’s held him back is frequent injuries and long layoffs. If he is interested in fighting a rematch with Eubank Jr, he should consider taking a couple of tune-ups because that would be a grueling fight for him.
Interesting to look forward to, who will Saunder choose to fight?
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