With a win over David Lemieux, WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders is primed for a big year in 2018, but his career might soon be over before anyone knows it.
Saunders said he could very well retire by the time he reaches 30 years old. The WBO champion is 28 years old and turns 29 in August. Saunders explained his reasoning as simply wanting to leave the sport in good health for his children and has saved enough money during his fight career.
"I've always said when I'm 30 I'll be done. I've got children, I've been very sensible with my money — put it into property — and I've always said that when I'm 30 I'll be done... I've done everything in boxing now," Saunders said.
Retiring at 30 years old is not a guarantee for the world champion, however. Saunders said he could still come back for a big fight if it comes to him. As the holder of the WBO middleweight title, Saunders has several big name opponents for him including the likes of former WBA champion Daniel Jacobs, former WBO middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez and current WBA/IBF/WBC unified middleweight Gennady Golovkin.
"Don't get me wrong. If I'm 30 and the unified champion and there's a fight there worth £10 million, I'm going to say, 'All right, let's do it,'" Saunders said.
Saunders did fight for the first time outside of British soil back in December 16, 2017, routing Lemieux on HBO with a big unanimous decision win. Saunders has held the WBO title since 2015 and has successfully defended it three times.