Once that gigantic paycheck hit his bank account, Billy Joe Saunders had seemingly lost all of his motivation. Despite being loquacious with a huge personality, his career had quietly come to a close.
Of course, Canelo Alvarez played a big role in Saunders stepping away. Back in May of 2021, Saunders (30-1, 14 KOs) sat on his stool as his right eye was being attended to. Although his corner did their best, they were unable to mitigate the damage, resulting in Saunders losing via eighth-round stoppage.
A cracked orbital made it likely that Saunders would never fight again. So, with his career ostensibly behind him, the former two-division champion began packing on the pounds. With his midsection a bit fluffier nowadays, Saunders has begun slowly cutting weight. His end goal, return to the sport quick, fast, and in a hurry.
“I’m mowing down these calories day by day,” said Saunders on a self-recorded video. “I’m gonna come back.”
There’s still quite a bit of work left to be done, but Saunders may have eaten his way out of the super middleweight division. With 168 pounds highly unlikely, Saunders is now weighing his options. The only real choice he has left at his disposal at this point, is to continue his career in the light heavyweight division.
The 175-pound landscape has a ton of huge names associated with it, none bigger than Dmitry Bivol, the division’s WBA champion, and Artur Beterbiev, the current unified titlist. Saunders’ final decision hasn't officially been made but once he whips his body back into fighting shape, he’ll have a clear indication as to what division he wants to campaign in, as opposed to vacillating between multiple.
“One-time world champion, two-time world champion, three-time world champion. Might even go up to light heavy. See who’s there at light heavy with a belt.”