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Tyson Fury has told Billy Joe Saunders that he must return to the ring, after the former world champion openly discussed the possibility of retirement.
Saunders told TalkSport that there was a chance he would hang up the gloves, particularly if his father told him that the fight game was no longer for him.
He was stopped in the eighth round by Canelo at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas in a title unification bout after being left with a broken right orbital bone and fractured eye socket in a brutal fight.
“I’ve told him that he should recover from his injuries, come back and win another world title," Fury told Seconds Out. "Don’t go out like that.
“He’s been in this game a long time and I believe that Billy Joe needs to fight again for his own inner spirit – he doesn’t do it for the money because he’s made a lot of money as well.
“He’ll never be broke, but it’s more than that, it’s about going out on the right causes."
And Fury has even warned that the former world champ could be 'haunted forever' if he chooses to hang up his gloves after his first career defeat.
“I think Billy Joe, if he doesn’t fight again, it’ll probably haunt him forever that he went out with a loss," he continued.
Tyson Fury and Billy Joe Saunders
“An injury loss as well – it hurts more, because if you get knocked out or smashed to bits in a fight then you know you weren’t good enough.
“But I believe he was in that fight and it was a close fight up until obviously he got his face smashed in."
Fury even believes he can get back to world level, and could face the widely avoided middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade, who has struggled to attract big name opponents.
“I think he can come back, regroup and win another world title for sure – maybe try and get the Andrade fight.”
Saunders and Andrade were scheduled to fight on October 20 2018, but the fight was cancelled due to a failed drug test from the Brit.
The retirement talk stemmed from an interview with TalkSport, where Saunders said: “At the end of the day, I’m 31 years old, if I don’t ever wanna work again, wanna sit back, wanna chill, I can do that.
"I’m 31, I haven’t took no punishment, I haven’t been battered from pillar to post, brain dead and can’t put a sentence together, so I need to sit back and look at my options.
“Because the options have to weigh up – the thought of me just coming in and fighting for a world rating or something, belts don’t feed the kids.
“I’ll have a chat with my dad because he’ll have a big say in it.
"To be fair it will be more or less down to my dad in the conversation more than me if I’m honest. “If he says, ‘Leave it son, don’t go back for more,’ then that’s probably what I’ll do.”