Former WBO middleweight and super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders has revealed that he will make a return to the sport of boxing in the month of December after two-and-a-half years on the sidelines.
“I have to come back to boxing, because I can’t keep thinking about ‘could’ve, would’ve, should’ve…’ I know it’s been two-and-a-half years now, but I’ve been boxing mentally since I was five years old, so I needed that break so much," Saunders told William Hill.
“I’m going to fight in December. I haven’t got an opponent yet but I’m going to go back with Eddie Hearn and sort something. I’ll probably fight at 12st 6lbs (light heavyweight), 12st 5lbs (super middleweight). I’m not going to say I’m going to fight a superstar, but I’m going to fight 12st 6lbs coming back, and then you’ll see me at 12st in the New Year.”
Despite competing at super middleweight in his last fight against Canelo Alvarez in May 2021, a fight he lost, Saunders was apprehensive about cutting down to that weight when he makes his anticipated return in December.
“I could say right from now that in 11 or 12 weeks I could get down to 12st, but at what cost?” he said. “I don’t want to go in there and stink the place out because I’m drained and I haven’t made the weight. I want to slowly bring it down and have a little run-out, get the ball rolling, pick an opponent and then look for the biggest fights Eddie can bring me. I only want three or four fights.”
Against Canelo, Saunders did well but ultimately suffered his first career defeat when Canelo unloaded with a variety of punches to stop him in eight rounds. Saunders later explained that he was unable to continue due to an eye injury.