Billy Joe Saunders has confirmed that he is back in the ring this year


May 20, 2023 11:02 p.m

Billy Joe Saunders has confirmed that he will return to the ring this year after more than two years of inactivity.

Saunders last fought Canelo Alvarez on Cinco De Mayo weekend in 2021 for the WBA (Super), WBC and WBO super middleweight championships.

Despite being competitive for seven rounds against Canelo, Saunders suffered a broken eye socket in the 8th round, forcing him to withdraw from the contest.

Since coming up short in the biggest fight of his career, it’s been well documented that Saunders has put on a lot of extra weight. However, the former two-division world champion is confident he will be in fighting shape soon.

“We’re just in the gym at the minute, running, losing weight,” Saunders told iFL TV.

“Look, it’s always like that when people talk about things. People are waiting for it, not just happened. Come out and look here, I’m ready.

“So that’s what we’re working on right now. It’s just nothing more than shedding a little weight. A long riot in just one minute.

“I talked to Eddie [Hearn] The other day he gave her a text. Obviously we’re both in touch. Once I’ve lost some wood, I don’t have much to go. I say not much, but still two stone, two and a half stone, but that’s nothing in this day and age.

“I’m always used to it in my career and I’ll fight when I’m good, ready and fit. I’m sure it won’t take too long. This year, though, definitely.”

Billie Joe Saunders Why He’s Coming Back

Now 33 years old, Billie Joe Saunders is in the twilight of his career. Regardless, Saunders is coming back because he misses boxing.

“I know I’ve been out of the ring for two years. I’ll have to make sure I get a little smarter about my own self-training. Instead of killing myself and the wheelchair. I’m not getting any younger. But I miss the sport so it would be nice to get back out there and give back a little bit. And there are some big fights to come, so I’m looking forward to those.”

Indeed, if the Hertfordshire native can drop the pounds, there could be some lucrative domestic matches against the likes of John Ryder and Chris Eubank Jr.

Saunders and Eubank Jr shared the ring almost ten years ago at the ExCel Arena in Docklands. Billy Joe Saunders emerged victorious by split decision, and since then there has been no love lost between the two British rivals, who have spoken bitterly about each other in several interviews.

Eubank Jr. is scheduled to rematch Liam Smith on July 1, but win or lose a fight against Saunders will always be a lucrative proposition due to their past history.

On the other hand, Ryder is coming off a gutsy and impressive performance against Canelo Alvarez in Mexico.

Regardless of the wide decision loss, Ryder’s stock rose from that bout and could become another marketable opponent for Saunders, especially since they also struggled early in their professional careers. And similar to the fight with Eubank Jr., Saunders won a unanimous decision against Ryder in the judges’ scores.

Moreover, before Billy Joe Saunders began his hiatus from the squared circle, he was widely considered one of the best fighters at 160 and 168 pounds. Therefore, if the former WBO champion can string together a few notable wins, it’s possible he could make one last world title challenge before he officially hangs up his gloves.

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