Billy Joe Saunders back in the gym to 'shift some timber' ahead of potential boxing comeback

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Billy Joe Saunders reveals he is back in the gym to ‘shift some timber’ after piling on the pounds following his defeat to Canelo Alvarez… as the former two-weight world champion eyes a comeback to the ring

  • Billy Joe Saunders lost to Canelo Alvarez in May 2021 and has not fought since
  • Saunders has admitted that he has put on a lot of weight during his time off 
  • He is now back in the gym to lose weight and get back into fighting shape
  • He is eyeing a return to the ring either later this year or in early 2023 

Former world champion boxer Billy Joe Saunders has revealed that he is back training twice a day in an attempt to shift a significant amount of weight ahead of a potential return to the ring.

Saunders held the WBO middleweight title between 2015 and 2018, before stepping up to super-middleweight to claim the WBO belt in that division in 2019. However, he was beaten for the first time in his professional career by Canelo Alvarez in May 2021, and has not fought since after suffering a fractured orbital bone in that loss.

By his own admission, Saunders has piled on the pounds over the last 16 months, with training footage indicating that he has some work to do to get down to his fighting weight, but he is now back in the gym and is eyeing a comeback.

Billy Joe Saunders was beaten by Canelo last year, and has not fought in the last 16 months

Billy Joe Saunders was beaten by Canelo last year, and has not fought in the last 16 months

Saunders was in excellent shape for his fight against Canelo

Saunders is back training, but has a lot of weight to lose to get in fighting shape

Saunders wants to return to boxing, but has to ‘shift some timber’ before making his comeback

‘I have enjoyed a bit of down time and had a nice year out,’ Saunders told Matchroom Boxing.

‘I am getting a bit bored and I have got itchy fists so decided to do a little bit of training to shift some timber to see where the road will take me. Life is okay, I went for my check-ups to my doctor and he was happy.

‘The first thing is obviously your health. It is pointless boxing whatever you are boxing for whether it is millions or just a pound to come back if that’s not in check, and if I decide, which it is looking like I will, to come back then I can. 

‘It is nice to enjoy a bit of training, and it is nice to have a clear head and to see where I want to go rather than have defences and stuff and go where other people want me to go.’

Saunders suffered a fractured orbital bone against Canelo, but has been cleared to return

Saunders suffered a fractured orbital bone against Canelo, but has been cleared to return

It appears that Saunders is not putting too much pressure on himself, and he has said that he does not have a specific fight date in mind yet, but he could make his return before the end of 2022.

‘I think this year is definitely marketable for myself. I am in the gym now going twice a day and the weight is coming off and I am getting fitter by the day. It could be at the end of the year or it could be early next year but we will soon find out. It all depends on what opponent is available,’ he added.

Saunders has enjoyed a close friendship with heavyweight champion Tyson Fury over the years, and trained with the Gypsy King when he made his boxing comeback in 2018.

Upon his return to the gym, Fury weighed around 30 stone, and needed to lose around 10 stone to get back into fighting shape.

Saunders trained alongside Tyson Fury as he made his comeback after ballooning up in weight

Saunders trained alongside Tyson Fury as he made his comeback after ballooning up in weight

Saunders helped him achieve this, as Fury dropped the weight quickly and had two tune-up fights before taking on Deontay Wilder in December 2018.

He earned a draw in that fight – many felt he deserved the win – before going on to beat the American twice in 2020 and 2021.

Saunders may now look to take a similar route back to the top by easing his way back into action prior to taking a high-profile fight.

Rematches with John Ryder and Chris Eubank Jr have been mooted after Saunders picked up close points wins against the pair in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

Saunders may look to set up a rematch with Chris Eubank Jr in the future

Saunders may look to set up a rematch with Chris Eubank Jr in the future

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