BILLY JOE SAUNDERS is back in training and preparing for a return to the ring in December, according to his former coach Dominic Ingle.
The 32-year-old Briton, who has won world titles in the middleweight and super-middleweight divisions, was last seen in May last year when he retired after the eighth round against Canelo Alvarez.
Two-weight world champion Saunders has not fought since May 2021
It was the first defeat of Saunders’ professional career following 30 successive victories.
Since then, he has remained largely out of the media spotlight, leading many to believe he had quietly retired from the sport.
But Ingle, who trained Saunders from 2017 to 2019, has now revealed that the boxer has come back to his gym and is eyeing a return before the year is out.
Speaking to The Sheffield Star, he said: “He came back a couple of weeks back just to find his feet, get away from home.
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“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’ representatives were contacted following the quotes from Ingle, but they insisted the fighter is “currently retired and not returning to boxing”.
The report then goes on to state that he is in Sheffield receiving treatment for an injury.
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Upon his return to the gym, Saunders, who has standout wins against the likes of Chris Eubank Jr and David Lemieux, was trained by assistant coach Amir “Killa” Khan while Ingle was away.
And discussing the session with the two-weight world champion, Khan, who finished his pro career on 13-0, said: “We had a spar last week, he’s definitely still got the grit.
“He’s still fighting like his life depends on it. Everything is still there.
“You have to kill him to beat him. You have to nail him to the ground. He can dig deep and take it to the well.”
Outside of the ring, Saunders has been involved in a series of controversial incidents.
Most recently, he hit the headlines as one of a host of boxers represented by Daniel Kinahan – named by the US government as the head of a “murderous” cartel.