Ever since the towel was thrown in during boxer Billy Joe Saunders fight with Canelo Álvarez in the early hours of Sunday morning, there has been lots of talk about whether Saunders should or shouldn’t have been pulled out of the fight.
Some fighters have said that Saunders quit, while others have said he and his trainer, Mark Tibbs, made the right decision to protect Saunders’ immediate health and his long-term career.
Now, a doctor has weighed in on whether the decision to throw in the towel was the correct one. Speaking on his YouTube channel, Dr. Brian Sutterer explained what happened to Saunders, what the likely outcome would have been if he had fought on and what the injury means for the rest of his career.
Sutterer explained that Saunders suffered a quadripod fracture, also known as zygomaticomaxillary complex fracture, where essentially the zygomatic bone, or cheekbone, became detached or disassociated from the rest of the skull. Because of the zygomatic bone’s proximity to the orbit – the bones around the eyes – “you can have an orbital floor fracture or an orbital blowout, which can cause damage to the actual tissue of the eye,” explains Sutterer.
“This is major trauma,” says Sutterer. “We heard that Saunders couldn’t see, and if we look back his eye was pretty clear, and so that does make me concerned about possible injury to the structures of the eye.
“Imagine if he would have gone back out there and taken another punch from Canelo knowing that this bone was already basically detached from the rest of the skull, as bad as this is it would have been even worse. They’re already talking about his career being threatened and yes, if you have bad enough damage to your vision, if you have a bad enough injury here, this is something that could end a boxer’s career.”
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