Daniel Dubois sends classy message to Billy Joe Saunders after Canelo loss having slated youngster for ‘quitting’ against Joe Joyce with eye injury
Billy Joe Saunders received surprising words of encouragement from Daniel Dubois in the aftermath of his loss to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
The former WBO super-middleweight champion relinquished his title to the Mexican on Saturday night in Texas after suffering ‘multiple fractures’ to the area around his eye.
Trainer Mark Tibbs stopped the fight before the ninth round, with Saunders being escorted out of the AT&T Stadium in Arlington via ambulance where he underwent surgery.
The 31-year-old faces an anxious wait to see what will happen to the rest of his career after such a debilitating injury, but Saunders’ words on Dubois taking a knee in his fight against Joe Joyce last November have seemingly come back to haunt him.
It transpired the 23-year-old had fractured his eye socket, which resulted in the grotesque swelling on the night, but Saunders did not hold back in his scathing criticism.
He was extremely vocal, insisting he would have continued even if he had ‘two broken eye sockets’.
“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.
“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.”
Despite the strong words, Dubois has shown his class by offering his support to Saunders following the injury, reaching out on Twitter and wishing him well.
He wrote: “You fought well @bjsaunders_ hope your eye heels [sic] up quickly and you can come back stronger champ.”
The Greenwich-native has fully recovered after surgery to repair the fractured eye socket and will return to the ring on June 5 to take on Bogdan Dinu for the WBA ‘interim’ heavyweight title.