The extent of the damage dealt by Canelo Alvarez on Sunday (AEST) is still being realised, with British boxer Billy Joe Saunders spending the night in hospital.
Saunders’ corner waved in defeat before the ninth round while treating a cut under his right eye. Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 knockouts) added Saunders’ WBO belt to his WBA and WBC straps, in his third fight in less than five months and second in Texas.
Promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed on Twitter that Saunders had stayed overnight in hospital and would have surgery on Sunday afternoon.
Saunders battled bravely but was well behind on each scorecard before the fight stopped.
“People love to hate on others willing to chase their dreams,” heavyweight champ Tyson Fury said.
“Billy Joe Saunders tried to be great last night! It wasn’t his night but at least he had the bottle to follow his dreams and heart.”
The brutal blow to his eye in the eighth round resulted in the fracture, with Hearn saying the 31-year-old would be on the shelf for a “long, long time”.
“He couldn’t see,” Hearn told DAZN. “I spoke to [trainer] Mark Tibbs. He couldn’t see and he wouldn’t let him go out.
“I thought Billy boxed beautifully. Canelo is so strong, he took his time. Billy is so tricky but he busted his eye socket. Canelo coming on strong in the back end of the fight. Too good.
“It was a great performance by Billy Joe Saunders, he came to win.”
The drama continued after the fight, with Alvarez blasting another would-be challenger in the press conference.
WBO middleweight Demetrius Andrade, who was booed during the fight while wearing a shirt disparaging both of the men in the ring, walked in and said: “So when can we get something going on? Let’s make it happen.
“What’s up, Canelo? Congratulations today though, good job baby, good job. I’m a big fan … but what’s up though? When can we make it happen? What you think?”
Canelo responded curtly.
“I know [you’re a fan]. Man, you fight with nobody. You are a champion but you fight with nobody. You won the belt with nobody,” he said.
“Get the f— out of here, man. Please, get the f— out of here. It’s my night.”