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The previously-undefeated Brit suffered a nasty eye injury, caused by a stinging uppercut by Canelo who landed flush in round eight.
His trainer Mark Tibbs pulled him out of the championship contest with the 31-year-old unable to see through his damaged eye.
Saunders' decision to 'quit on the stool' got fight fans and critics talking including McGregor who aimed a thinly-veiled dig on social media.
According to Eddie Hearn, Billy Joe Saunders busted his eye socket and his trainer refused to let him go back out. pic.twitter.com/72eH1e4tCC- DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) May 9, 2021
He tweeted a picture of a bloody and battered Nate Diaz, who had sustained an injury to his eye - similar to Saunders.
The photo is from Diaz vs. McGregor 2 back in August 2016. The Stockton slugger fought on despite blood gushing out from his eye in a five-round war at UFC 202.
Speaking in his post-fight press conference, the Mexican sensation admitted that he thought Saunders sustained a broken cheekbone after he caught him with that hard uppercut.
He said: "It's hard because I saw when he broke his cheekbone and I went back to the corner and told my trainer Eddy, 'I didn't think he could continue' because when you break a cheekbone, you risk your life and you can't continue that way.
"I knew what I was doing and I knew what I did with that punch, I knew he wouldn't come back after I broke his cheekbone. I love boxing and this is what I love to do.
"I'm happy and grateful with the fans, happy to come back to normal and break records, even in a pandemic they came out and supported me. I'm really grateful.
"Eddy told me before when I dominate him, to turn to the people and talk to them and connect with them. That's what I did."
Featured Image Credit: Conor McGregor/DAZN
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