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Saunders' corner interaction with trainer before Canelo fight was stopped


Billy Joe Saunders’ trainer, Mark Tibbs, has opened up on the interaction which led to the Brit being pulled out in his corner against Canelo Alvarez.

Saunders suffered a damage to his eye socket after a brutal uppercut from the Mexican in the eighth round and did not get up from his stool.

The underdog struggled to open his eye and appeared to be seen mouthing “no” to his trainers before Tibbs pulled him out of the contest.

Saunders has come in for plenty of criticism for quitting in the bout but Tibbs insists it was his decision to pull him out.



Billy Joe Saunders was pulled out in his corner by Mark Tibbs against Canelo Alvarez
Billy Joe Saunders was pulled out in his corner by Mark Tibbs against Canelo Alvarez

And whilst reluctant to go into great details, he told Behind the Gloves after the fight that he “didn’t get the response he wanted” from Saunders before making his final decision.

“His eye socket was caved in and he couldn’t see,” Tibbs said.

“I didn’t get the response I wanted from him. I didn’t get the response I needed in the corner and I knew it was caved in. I’m not surprised I got the response I got.

“I had to pull it… He never said, ‘No, that’s it.’ He left it to me. He took it well. He was in pain.

“He’s given his best shot but he’s got injured in his leading eye against the pound for pound great. He’s done himself proud.”



Alvarez cemented his status as pound for pound king by beating fellow world champions Saunders
Alvarez cemented his status as pound for pound king by beating fellow world champions Saunders

The abrupt end to Saunders’ title reign has seen him come under-fire, particular given comments he made after Daniel Dubois took a knee against Joe Joyce when unable to see due to a similar eye injury last year.

Speaking at the time, Saunders said: “Fighters get in that ring and we know what’s on the line.

“Every fighter needs to understand and the fans need to understand that. In the past, we’ve seen a lot of tragedies in boxing, deaths in the ring.

“Before I go on one knee I’d like to go out on my back with my pulse stopped.



Saunders has been criticised for the way the fight ended in light of previous comments
Saunders has been criticised for the way the fight ended in light of previous comments

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“Everyone has their own thought process in the ring and what went on in the ring I don’t know. He obviously felt he could not continue.

“You look at the greats, the eyes, the face, we get through that. That’s the path in life we choose for a living. We punch people in the face and get punched in the face.

“If my two eye sockets were broken, my jaw was broken, my teeth were out, my nose was smashed, my brain was beaten, I was not stopping until I was knocked out or worse.

“I don’t agree with a man taking the knee and letting the ref count him out.”





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