Billy Joe Saunders may not exactly be known for his humility, but the British southpaw apparently has no problem conceding his loss to Canelo Alvarez.
The brash Saunders was stopped by Alvarez inside eight rounds in their WBO/WBA/WBC 168-pound title unification bout on May 8 at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
“I think that, you know, the thing with me is that I don’t make excuses,” Saunders recently told IFL TV. “Every camp you go through injuries and bits and bobs – the complete bottom line of it is this: I got beaten by the better man on that night. People can say, ‘oh, yeah, he was up big,’ but the main thing is winning, and Canelo won.
“If I get beaten by the better man I can always live with that. And on that night he was the better man. That’s all I can say.”
Saunders (30-1, 14 KOs) acquitted himself well in the early going but found himself in trouble midway through the fight. In the pivotal eighth round, Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) uncorked a counter right uppercut that landed square on Saunders’ right eye, immediately causing it to well. The fight was stopped during the break going into the ninth round after Saunders told his corner he could not see out of his right eye.
“I sort of got a little careless sort of thing, because I didn’t find no freaky power,” Saunders continued. “I didn’t find something that really shocked me, you know? He hit me with a good shot. As soon as I got hit with that shot I just thought to myself, ‘Right, you’re wobbed.’ I thought my legs were gone or something. But I was bouncing around for 10 seconds and I realized, right, your legs aren’t there,’ and then I felt, ‘Bam!’ – touches right eye – all this went away. I could feel it all caved in a bit.
“Great fighters find great ways to win, and he’s a great fighter. I take my hat off to him. The only thing I can say is on that night the better man won.”