Billy Joe Saunders says he has one foot in and one foot out of boxing
Following his fight with unified super middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, former WBO Middleweight champion “Superb” Billy Joe Saunders (30-1, 14 KO’s) suffered much more than a mere defeat. He lost his undefeated record, for some, he lost his respect, and he very well may have lost this career. At the point where the bout was halted, in between the eighth and ninth rounds, Superb was making a very good account of himself. Numerous people even had him winning. Others had it scored very close in an extremely competitive fight.
Yet when Canelo literally broke his face with a demonic right uppercut, Saunders was left stranded at a crossroads. It is a place that boxing is infamous for. Drenched in pain and facing notable adversity, Superb was presented the eternal question: ‘Do I soldier on or do I fold?’ Obviously there is a healthy contingent of people who adamantly believe that he quit on his stool. Others feel that he did the smart thing by thinking about his long term health by not fighting on. Sadly, Superb does not really take any credit for what led the to ending of the prizefight and is content to pass the buck to his corner.
“Listen, you’re always going to have your people who come in and have their two [cents] worth, but the people, my team, who were in that corner know the conversation. I was going out for the ninth round and when people say about ‘he quit,’ you got to look at the sort of situation. My team is there to do a job, you know. They are there to look out for my best interest because I am there to go on all night…but that was the corner man’s decision, you know, and it is what it is. I can’t argue with that.”
The thing is, he COULD have argued! He could have protested. Yet, from all appearances, he did neither.
FROM ROAR TO WHIMPER
Now a hair over a month away from that fateful fight, Saunders remains strained in limbo. The question that he is presently wrestling with is whether or not to continue on with his career. And much like his fight with Canelo, let him tell it, the decision is largely not being made by him.
“My dad will have a big say. It’s 50/50. Whether I think, I will have a one [or] a couple more. It’s got to be the right fights. If he says, ‘Leave it son,’ that’s probably what I’ll do.”
In all honesty, it really is disheartening to see this once bold and brazen boxer limp along in such a fashion. Even if it was his corner’s decision, and even if he’ll leave it to his father, he doesn’t have to say that publicly. He can still own these decisions in the eye of the people. The fact that he is essentially passing on such crucial responsibility to those around him is not admirable whatsoever.
Perhaps Saunders will slide back in the ring and do great things. At the present time however, it looks more likely that after being broken in the ring during his greatest moment, Saunders will simply slink away into oblivion. Regardless of which path he chooses to travel, 3kingsboxing will be there to report the news.
By: Bakari Simpson