“I Didn’t Get the Response I Wanted From Him” – Billy Joe Saunders’ Trainer Justifies Corner Stoppage Against Canelo Alvarez

Published 05/09/2021, 2:21 AM EDT
May 8, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Canelo Alvarez (teal trunks) and Billy Joe Saunders (blue green trunks) during a super middleweight boxing title fight at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports


The Billy Joe Saunders vs Canelo Alvarez encounter ended in the most tragic fashion. Both the fighters fought exuberantly well and gave their best shot to make this fight worth the watch. Unfortunately for fans, Saunders suffered a stoppage loss to the Mexican after round 8.

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In a post-fight interview, Saunders’ coach, Mark Tibbs, revealed the reason he stopped this fight. In a backstage conversation, he said, “His eye socket was caved in and he couldn’t see. So I didn’t get the response I wanted from him so.”

“It was frustrating really because I felt that he was grown into it, but yeah, so I had to pull it.” (via Behind The Gloves)

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May 8, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Canelo Alvarez (teal trunks) and Billy Joe Saunders (blue green trunks) during a super middleweight boxing title fight at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The fight began on a wonderful note for ‘Superb’ as he showed a snippet of his skills in the first three minutes. Subsequently, it was a Canelo Alvarez show for a while. But in between, Saunders landed his slick jabs coupled with some left counter attacks.

As the fight progressed to round 8, Saul Alvarez took full control of the ring and he decoded Saunders’ strategy pretty well. Consequently, Alvarez landed one powerful strike on his adversary, which left his right eye swollen. Citing the 31-year-old’s condition, his trainer asked the referee to stop the fight, thus saving his fighter from further damage.

Undoubtedly Billy Joe Saunders did well in the fight, but it was just not enough for him to beat Alvarez.

What’s next for Billy Joe Saunders?

With a loss in this bout, the Hertfordshire native even lost his crucial ‘O’. More than that, he lost an opportunity to compete for the undisputed 168-pound belt later.

May 7, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Boxer Billy Joe Saunders takes the stage during weigh ins for his super middleweight boxing title fight against Canelo Alvarez at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

But looking back at his performance in this fight, the former WBO super-middleweight champ can only be proud. He abruptly stuck to his game plan and executed it well.

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Yet, he will have to move away from this dreadful defeat to focus on his career ahead. For now, he should only be keen to recover well and quickly from his eye injury.

What did you make of Mark Tibbs’ decision to stop the fight?

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Prathamesh Singh Chauhan

1159 articles

Prathamesh Singh Chauhan is a Boxing Author at EssentiallySports. He is a graduate from the International Institute of Sports Management who combines his love for sports, particularly combat sports, and his flair for writing and analysis to help him in his day-to-day work. He has prior professional experience with sporting organizations such as Star Sports, Khelo India, and NBA.

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