Billy Joe Saunders training at Sheffield's Ingle Gym as potential comeback fight date revealed

Two-weight world champion Billy Joe Saunders has been training at the Ingle Gym ahead of a potential comeback fight in December.

Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 11:37 am

Saunders, who has held the WBO middleweight and super middleweight belts, has not fought since his defeat to Canelo Álvarez in May 2021.

He previously trained under Dominic Ingle in Sheffield from 2017 to 2019.

Read More

Read More
Sam O'maison relishing underdog tag against ‘golden guy’ Dalton Smith in British...

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Canelo Alvarez punches Billy Joe Saunders during their fight for Alvarez's WBC and WBA super middleweight titles and Saunders' WBO super middleweight title at AT&T Stadium on May 08, 2021 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

“He came back a couple of weeks back just to find his feet, get away from home,” Ingle told The Star.

"He’s aiming to fight in December. His nutritionist Greg Marriott is based in Sheffield, we have just got to sit down and work out a plan of where he goes from there.

"That’s another conversation I need to have when I get back to Sheffield. It might work out, it might not.”

Saunders’ representative insisted he was ‘currently retired and not returning to boxing’ when contacted by The Star.

It is understood he is not currently in Sheffield while he receives treatment for an injury.

Saunders was trained by Mark Tibbs for his last bout, which ended in the first loss of his 31-fight professional career after he suffered a broken eye socket.

With Ingle away on a warm-weather training camp in Spain, he was trained by his assistant coach, Amer ‘Killa’ Khan.

"We had a spar last week, he’s definitely still got the grit,” said Khan, who was a 13-0 professional.

"He’s still fighting like his life depends on it. Everything is still there.”

The pair fought six rounds as part of Saunders’ efforts to get back in shape.

"You have to kill him to beat him,” Khan added.

“You have to nail him to the ground. He can dig deep and take it to the well.”

Saunders, now 32, has been involved in multiple controversies throughout his boxing career.

More recently, his relationship with Irish cartel leader Daniel Kinahan, who has been sanctioned by the US Treasury, has come under scrutiny.

Saunders was managed by boxing management company MTK Global, which Kinahan co-founded.

He was also listed as a client on the website of sports management group Hoopoe Sports, which has also been sanctioned as part of the same measures against the Kinahan group.

Asked about Saunders’ character, Ingle said: “He’s like all boxers really; there’s good points about them, there’s bad points.

"He can be generous then, sometimes, some of the stuff he does, you will be scratching your head.”

Ingle continued: “But the thing is, they are good at boxing. These days I try not to get too involved in the personality side of them, or their family life, or anything personal. It’s too much hard work.

"It can be emotionally draining when you are involved too deep with fighters.”

On Saunders the fighter, Ingle said: “He's very skilful. As with most skilful fighters, like Prince Naseem, they tend not to realise their full potential because their skill gets them away from having to do all the hard work sometimes.

“In the Canelo fight he didn’t have a fantastic camp but he gave a very decent performance. I think he could have beaten Canelo. Maybe there’s more to the mark with Billy, let’s just see how it goes.”

Saunders’ representative did not respond to The Star’s request for comment on his client’s relationship with Kinahan.