Canelo Alvarez stopped Billy Joe Saunders after eight rounds of their highly-billed super-middleweight clash last weekend – and he always knew it would be “easy money” on the night.
Saunders retired on his stool at the AT&T Stadium, Texas, after suffering a gruesome broken eye socket in the eighth round of his clash with Canelo.
The Brit was daring to be great up against a fighter widely considered the best on the planet right now, but trainer Mark Tibbs was forced to pull him out when the brutal extent of his injury became clear.
As a result, Canelo retained his WBA and WBC super-middleweight titles while adding Saunders’ WBO strap to his collection.
After the win the Mexican was spotted joking with Eddie Hearn, who promotes both men, reminding the Matchroom chief that he always told him it would be “easy money” against Saunders.
In behind-the-scenes footage from DAZN, Canelo says to Hearn in the dressing room: “Hey my friend. With all my respect, I told you… easy money.
“It is what it is!”
Despite Canelo’s boasts, Saunders enjoyed greater success than many anticipated before a brutal eighth-round uppercut fractured his orbital bone in multiple places, outboxing the pound-for-pound star at times and deserving more than the two rounds he was afforded by the judges.
Nevertheless, after the defeat the former champion was swiftly taken to the John Peter Smith hospital in Dallas before undergoing surgery on Sunday.
Hearn posted on Twitter at the weekend: “Just at hospital in Dallas, @bjsaunders_ stayed in overnight. Suffered multiple fractures to orbital area and will undergo surgery this afternoon.”
The promoter has also cast doubt over Saunders’ future in the sport, saying immediately after the fight: “He’s going to be out for a long, long time.”
While Saunders’ career hangs in the balance, Canelo will now turn his attention to an undisputed title showdown with IBF champion Caleb Plant.