The Brit didn’t come out for the ninth round after breaking his eye socket and cheek bone
The British super-middleweight surrendered his WBO world title to Canelo after being forced to retire on his stool at the end of the eighth round on Saturday night.
Saunders, who was losing on all three of the judges’ scorecards at the time of the stoppage, suffered an horrific injury in the eighth round when Canelo landed a devastating uppercut and was rushed off to hospital on the same evening.
Billy Joe Saunders has confirmed what injuries he suffered in his fight against Canelo Alvarez
Saunders suffered first loss of his pro career after being retired on his stool before ninth round
He was pulled out by his corner due to the injury – which he has since had an operation on to fix – but in his first statement since losing for the only time of his professional career, Saunders insisted he did not feel out of his depth against pound-for-pound star Canelo.
In a statement on Facebook, Saunders wrote: ‘Thanks everyone for the messages. Broken eye socket and broken cheek bone in three places. Operation yesterday all went well.
‘You win some, you lose some. Didn’t feel out of my league but got caught with a good shot and couldn’t see.
‘Ben [Davison] got the corner to pull it. Thank you to all who watched. I’ll be back, God bless you all.’
Saunders insisted he didn’t feel out of his league in his first statement since Canelo defeat
Canelo, who cemented his position as the greatest fighter on the planet by defeating Saunders in Dallas, claimed afterwards he knew he had broken the Brit’s cheekbone in the eighth.
Speaking in the ring immediately after the fight, a jubilant Alvarez said: ‘I said it would be around round eight.
‘I think I broke his cheek and I knew he wasn’t going to come out.
‘I told my corner he’s not coming out because I broke his cheek. It was not as difficult as I expected and that is because of my preparation. I have the best trainer, I prepare. He says “do this” and I do it.’
Saunders’ promoter Eddie Hearn admitted he is facing a lengthy recovery and may never fight again, having already accomplished world titles in two weight divisions.
‘He will be out for a long, long time,’ said promoter Hearn. ‘He may decide to retire, saying he’s won his two world titles so done all he wanted in boxing.’
Canelo said he knew he had broken Saunders’ cheek in the eighth and that the fight was over