Billy Joe Saunders has confirmed he underwent successful surgery on multiple breaks to his eye socket and cheek bone sustained in his defeat by Canelo Alvarez.
Saunders suffered the injury in the eighth round of his super-middleweight unification fight with the Mexican pound-for-pound king in the early hours on Sunday.
Trainer Mark Tibbs threw in the towel at the end of the round, condemning the Brit to the first defeat of his career as Alvarez added the WBO strap to his WBC and WBA gold.
There has been much speculation about Saunders’ future following his gruesome injury in front of a packed AT&T Stadium in Texas, but the 31-year-old has suggested he will fight again.
“Thanks everyone for msg,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “Broken eye socket and cheek bone in 3 places operation yesterday all went well.
“You win some and lose some, didn’t feel out my league but got caught with a good shot and couldn’t see and Ben got the Conner [sic – corner] to pull it.
“Thank you all who watched I’ll be back god bless you all.”
Who should Saunders face next? Have your say in the comments.
Promoter Eddie Hearn was among those to voice their doubts over Saunders’ ability to come back from what is a troublesome injury for a boxer to sustain.
“He’s gone to hospital and I believe he’ll have that operated on immediately, so he’s going to be out for a long, long time,” said Hearn.
“But he’s a world-class fighter, he’s a two-weight world champion, who lost to the pound-for-pound No.1.
“If he wants to carry on there’re some big fights out there for him.
“Equally, he may feel he’s got to a stage where he’s been there, he’s done it, he’s seen it all. We’ll back him 100 per cent.”
Saunders’ defeat leaves him with a professional record of 30 wins and one loss, while Alvarez has won 56 of his 59 bouts, tasting defeat just once.