Canelo Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders: Eddie Hearn says Saunders will be out for 'very long time' with serious eye injury

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canelo-saunders-action-matchroom-ftr Michelle Farsi/Matchroom Boxing

Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn praised Billy Joe Saunders' performance as he went round-for-round with generational talent Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez before having to retire from the fight from a serious eye socket injury caused by a tremendous uppercut in round eight.

However, Hearn also admitted that the Brit, who suffered his first professional defeat in the super-middleweight unification fight, is now facing a lengthy lay-off as a result of the damage sustained from the fight-winning shot.

"You could see as soon as he hit him that he'd done his eye socket," Hearn told IFL TV. "I think because he couldn't see, the next round was going to be a bad situation. I think he would have got badly hurt in that round.

"He's gone to hospital and I believe he'll have that operated on immediately. So he's going to be out for a long, long time.

"But he's a world class fighter who lost to the pound-for-pound number one. He's a two-weight world champion.

"If he wants to carry on there's some big fights out there for him. He may feel he has got to a stage where he's been there, he's done it, he's seen it all. We'll back him 100%."

By the time Saunders is cleared to fight again, there's a strong chance Canelo will be the undisputed super-middleweight champion of the world. All that remains for the man that now holds the WBA, WBC and WBO belts (as well as The Ring's recognition as the 'lineal' champion) is the IBF belt currently held by American Caleb Plant.

Plant is undefeated, but considering that both Saunders and Callum Smith also had '0s' on their pro records before Alvarez collected their 168lbs titles, the pound-for-pound rankings king will go into such a fight as the huge favourite.

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