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Billy Joe Saunders in talks to fight again as Eddie Hearn offers John Ryder rematch and also gives updates on Lawrence Okolie and Callum Smith


Eddie Hearn told talkSPORT.com he has been in talks with Billy Joe Saunders’ reps about possibly getting him back in the ring this year.

The former WBO world middleweight and super middleweight champion suffered the first loss of his career last year when stopped by Canelo Alvarez.

Mark Robinson/Matchroom

Saunders and Hearn prepare for his next fight

In the aftermath, Saunders said he was considering retirement.

Now, however, it looks like he’s looking to fight.

When asked if he had spoken to Saunders, Hearn told talkSPORT.com’s Alex McCarthy: “Actually, or some people who work with him.

“I would like to see Billy Joe back in the ring.

“We talk to him about possible fights in September/October.

“He needs to get back to the gym and lose weight because he’s been known to have fun between camps.

“But he is a very good fighter.

Billy Joe Saunders in talks to fight again as Eddie Hearn offers John Ryder rematch and also gives updates on Lawrence Okolie and Callum Smith

Michelle Farsi / Matchroom Boxing

Canelo stopped Saunders by fracturing his eye socket

“Until he broke his orbit against Canelo Alvarez, he was fighting well.

“He’s controversial, he’s talented, and of course the Billy Joe Saunders vs. Chris Eubank Jr fight on the road – I don’t think you’ll see that this year anyway.

“But I would like to see John Ryder fight Billy Joe Saunders.

“They had a great fight a few years ago, it was very close.

“John has good momentum after the Daniel Jacobs fight and hopefully we can get Billy Joe back in the ring.”

Billy Joe Saunders in talks to fight again as Eddie Hearn offers John Ryder rematch and also gives updates on Lawrence Okolie and Callum Smith

Al Powers/Matchroom

Like Saunders, Callum Smith lost his world super middleweight title to Canelo

Giving an update on another former world super middleweight champion Callum Smith, Hearn said: “He’s going to fight on the AJ card.

“He is now number one with the WBC to be mandatory for the winner Artur Beterbiev against Joe Smith Jr.

“So you’re either looking to have a final eliminator with the WBC or just move on and stay in that lineup if you want to.

“The winner of Saturday’s fight [Joshua Buatsi vs Craig Richards] could be a big national fight later this year.

“And Callum, quite rightly, doesn’t watch the national scene.

“He wants to become a double world champion.

“But how long are you waiting? And he will imagine beating the winner of this fight.

Billy Joe Saunders in talks to fight again as Eddie Hearn offers John Ryder rematch and also gives updates on Lawrence Okolie and Callum Smith

Mark Robinson / Matchroom Boxing

Okolie is the WBO world heavyweight champion

And updating Lawrence Okolie, Hearn added: “He’s also going to fight on the AJ card in July.

“We’re looking to try and land a unification fight for Lawrence.

“He needs it now because he’s going to move up to heavyweight sooner or later.

“We are talking to the other champions and hopefully we can make it happen.”

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