Billy Joe Saunders head coach Mark Tibbs admitted he had no choice but to withdraw the Briton after a grueling injury caused by Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Alvarez added the WBO Super Middleweight Championship to his collection after Saunders retired after the eighth round of their unification fight in Arlington, Texas.
More than 73,000 people were in attendance for the highly anticipated fight, which began with Saunders blasting out of the blocks with a ton of energy, but failed to land a killer shot.
After Saunders’ early breakup, Alvarez took control of the ring to trap the Englishman in the corner and sneak into several body shots.
Alvarez maintained the advantage throughout the opening laps but was unable to deliver a fatal blow.
The momentum briefly changed in the fifth round when Saunders knocked out the Mexican with a solid left hook.
However, Alvarez quickly regained his composure, outshining his opponent until he landed a flurry of punches to the head in the eighth round that opened a cut under Saunders’ right eye.
Upon closer inspection, Tibbs recognized the severity of the injury and stirred up the fight so his man could get much-needed medical attention in the hospital.
“His orbit was cranked up and he couldn’t see,” Tibbs told Behind The Gloves. “I didn’t get the answer I wanted from him.
“I didn’t get the response I needed on the turn and I knew it was down. I am not surprised that I got the answer I got.
“I had to shoot him… He never said, ‘No, that’s it.’ He left it to me. He took it well. He suffered.