Eddie Hearn understands why Billy Joe Saunders will come in for criticism after his defeat to Canelo Alvarez but pointed out his team had to take him out of the fight.
Saunders lost his WBO belt on Saturday after suffering fractured orbital bones in the eighth round. His trainer Mark Tibbs was the one to throw in the towel as his fighter could not see as a result of his injury.
Hearn gave the DAZN Boxing Show an update on his health, saying: “I went to see him yesterday. I went in with his team, went into the hospital and got the information that he's got a triple fracture in his eye socket. He had an operation last night, I’m waiting to hear from his team. His father and one of his team, Tom Watts, stayed with him.”
The Matchroom promoter acknowledged that Saunders had previously hit out at Daniel Dubois for taking a knee after a similar injury, but pointed out that the super middleweight fighter had not been the one to make any decision to quit.
“I think with the Dubois comments, I guess until it happens you don't know how you’re going to react,” he explained.
“Remember with Billy Joe, his corner pulled him out of the fight, it wasn’t like he just turned his back or took a knee. He said to Mark Tibbs he couldn’t see.
“I thought Billy Joe was very brave in that round after that punch. He showed he’s got a good chin. He took a lot of big punches. As soon as that punch landed and he came up, I turned to someone and said ‘he's done his cheekbone,’ it was that obvious, and actually I just watched the clips back then, I saw it a mile off. There was a cleft in his cheek.
“You can see when someone has an orbital bone injury. It’s not like a natural swelling. It’s a disfiguration.”
With the fight over, and after a fractious contribution from Saunders before the fight, along with his previous outbursts in the media, Hearn admitted Saunders could have little complaint.
"When you talk and you say those things, comments are replayed and sometimes .... you’re going to get a lot of stick when he talks like he talks,” he said.
“That’s the game. With that kind of injury, a triple fracture, against Canelo Alvarez, if he went out that round he’d have got knocked out and he could have lost his eyesight.”
You can re-watch the full Canelo-Saunders fight, check out highlights or even re-live the entire May 8 fight card on DAZN (except Mexico).