Billy Joe Saunders is currently in talks to make a ring return later this year with a rematch against John Ryder targeted by promoter Eddie Hearn.
The British star has not fought since suffering his first career defeat to Canelo Alvarez last May. He retired in the eighth round on the stool after suffering a nasty fractured orbital prior to the stoppage.
Despite previously claiming he could hang up his gloves, Hearn has confirmed Saunders could soon return to the gym but a rematch against Chris Eubank Jr will not be his next fight. “I have actually, or some people that work with him,” Hearn confirmed to talkSPORT when asked if he had held talks with Saunders. “I’d like to see Billy Joe back in the ring. We’re talking to him about possible fights in September/October.
“He has gotta get back in the gym and take the weight off because he’s notorious for enjoying himself in between camps. But he’s a very good fighter. Until he broke his eye socket against Canelo Alvarez, he was having a great fight. He’s controversial, he’s talented, and of course the Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jr fight down the road – I don’t believe you’ll see that this year anyway.
“But I’d like to see John Ryder fight Billy Joe Saunders. They had a great fight a few years ago, it was very close. John’s got great momentum after the Daniel Jacobs fight and hopefully we can get Billy Joe back in the ring.”
Saunders last fought Ryder back in 2013 where he was handed unanimous decision victory in a tight affair to become British and Commonwealth champion. His British rival has recently made progress at 168lbs having defeated Daniel Jacobs to throw his name back into the world title mix.
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‘Superb’ had previously stated he was considering retirement from the sport after his latest injury represented a significant set back to his career. However, the 32-year-old has also suggested he could lace up his gloves again to settle his rivalry in a lucrative sequel with Eubank Jr.
He has previously claimed it would require an offer of £5 million for him to reach an agreement with his former rival to reignite their feud. Eubank Jr’s promoter Kalle Sauerland previously revealed Saunders would be considered on a list of possibilities for the middleweight’s return.
“There’s a list we work through and then see what’s really available. We will then see what the number one choice is after that. Of course Billy is on our list,” Sauerland said.
“Both are not far off that middleweight limit – when I see them walking around they are certainly well over it, so that’s also a natural fight that could come about. There’s a list of five or six very mouth-watering options for the next 12 months.”