Billy Joe Saunders' coach Tibbs stopped Canelo Alvarez fight as he had 'too much love' for Brit to send him back out

BILLY JOE SAUNDERS' head coach Mark Tibbs has defended his stoppage of the Canelo Alvarez fight – insisting his 'love' for the Brit prevented him from sending him back into the fire.

Tibbs threw in the towel after the eighth-round of the Hatfield hitman's super-middleweight title unification fight with the pound-for-pound king last weekend.

Former WBO champ Saunders suffered a quadripod fracture to his right orbital bone courtesy of a vicious counter uppercut from Canelo and was left unable to see out of his lead eye.

Tibbs told iFL TV: "It's never easy. It's never easy in a moment like that.

"But his leading eye was damaged and I've got too much love for the man to send him out there or ask him to go out there."

Saunders, 31, boxed well against the Mexican mauler before his fractured orbital put him in survival mode.

Tibbs said: "For me, he was starting to build momentum.

"He got that eye socket – it looks broke to me – and then obviously, you know, the game falls apart."


He added: "For me, I would've rather kept it long. Long and slick and awkward. Long, slick and awkward, that's what I wanted.

"But I guess Billy's got a fighting heart. Listen, when someone is walking you down like that, you've got to stand at times.

"It come off, actually. He put a good left uppercut and right hook or a right uppercut and left hook, one of the two.

"But he done well. But he done well up until the point he got injured."

Tibbs was furious with claims Saunders quit on his stool, telling Behind the Gloves: “His eye socket was caved in and he couldn’t see. I didn’t get the response from him so, you know.

“It’s frustrating, really, because I felt that he was growing into it. But I had to pull it.

“He never said, ‘No, that’s it,’ he left it to me.

"He took it well, but he was in pain. The eye socket was gone and he was in pain.”

Southpaw Saunders has undergone surgery on his orbital and is expected to be on the sidelines for the foreseeable future.

His promoter, Eddie Hearn, told iFL TV: "You could see as soon as he hit him that he'd done his eye socket.

"I think because he couldn't see, the next round was going to be a bad situation.

"I think he would have got badly hurt in that round.

"He's gone to hospital and I believe he'll have that operated on immediately. So he's going to be out for a long, long time.

"But he's a world-class fighter who lost to the pound-for-pound number one. He's a two-weight world champion.

"If he wants to carry on there's some big fights out there for him.

"He may feel he has got to a stage where he's been there, he's done it, he's seen it all. We'll back him 100 per cent."

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