Billy Joe Saunders out for ‘long, long time’ after Canelo fight, says Eddie Hearn

“You could see as soon as he hit him that he’d done his eye socket.”

Eddie Hearn admits Billy Joe Saunders is likely to be out for a ‘long, long time’ after the British boxer’s defeat by Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez on Saturday night.

Saunders was forced to retire after the eighth round of the super-middleweight unification bout in Texas following a show-stopping uppercut from the Mexican.

And Hearn believes Saunders – who suffered the first defeat of his career – faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines as he begins his recovery from the eye socket injury he sustained from Alvarez’s brutal punch.

Saunders was unable to continue after the eighth round.

“You could see as soon as he hit him that he’d done his eye socket, his eye socket was caved in,” Hearn told IFL TV. “I think because he couldn’t see, the next round was going to be a bad situation. I think he would have got badly hurt in that round.

“I thought Billy Joe boxed well, he started slow but got into the fight, but you could tell by the power, there was always a chance of him being hurt in that fight.

“He’s gone straight to hospital and I believe he’ll have that operated on immediately. So he’s going to be out for a long, long time.

“But he’s a world-class fighter who lost a unification fight to the pound-for-pound number one. He’s a two-weight world champion.

“If he wants to carry on there’s some big fights out there for him. He may feel he has got to a stage where he’s been there, he’s done it, he’s seen it all.

“It’s all about hunger. We’ll back him 100%. He was a big part of this show.”

As for Alvarez, the 30-year-old is plotting a bout with IBF super-middleweight champion Caleb Plant as he looks to become the undisputed champ at 168 pounds.

“That’s the plan,” Alvarez told DAZN after beating Saunders. “That’s the plan to go for the belt and. I’m coming, man. I’m coming, my friend!”

Canelo and Andrade clash at press conference

The Mexican, however, was far from unimpressed with Demetrius Andrade’s presence at his post-fight press conference.

Andrade, who recently beat Wales’ Liam Williams to defend his WBO middleweight crown, was ringside for Canelo’s victory over Saunders, and stormed into the Mexican’s news conference before the pair engaged in an expletive-laden verbal exchange, as can be heard below.

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